A true indicator of the country’s fanatic obsession with cricket is that the player with the third highest endorsement value is someone who retired from the game in 2012: Sachin Tendulkar.
Endorsements and on-ground advertising and promotions have been key to sports sponsorship ecosystem in 2018, even as media spending grew at a slower pace in a year that did not have a major international cricket tournament and a slack domestic calendar.
According to GroupM ESP Properties’ Sporting Nation in the Making–VI that was released today, the business of sports saw a growth of 12 per cent in 2018, if the numbers are adjusted for the IPL franchise fees.
With the IPL completing 10 years in 2017, the franchise fee, amounting to approximately Rs 291 crore ceased to be valid in 2018.
The sports industry was worth Rs 7,762 crore in 2018 as against Rs 7,300 crore in 2017.
Without the adjustment, the growth is just six per cent but as the report states, a year-on-year comparison would be irrelevant without netting off the anomaly.
As has been the trend thus far, cricket bagged the biggest deals across the sponsorship platter - be it in terms of media spending or endorsement fees.
Stalwarts, Virat Kohli and M S Dhoni accounted for 66 per cent of overall endorsement value.
But a true indicator of the country’s fanatic obsession with cricket is that the player with the third highest endorsement value is someone who retired from the game in 2012: Sachin Tendulkar.
Tendulkar’s social media equity is at par with that of Kohli and Dhoni, an indication of his relevance among a demographic that is much sought after by brands of all shades.
The report said that a significantly higher number of brands opted for star endorsements even though the ratio of endorsement value to the number of brands being endorsed came down versus 2017.
Media spends on sports (advertising on TV, print, and digital) continued to be a big chunk of the revenue earned in sports at Rs 4,432 crore.
While 85 per cent of the spending is for TV, digital grew by 44 per cent driven by OTT platforms while print spends halved.
The IPL team sponsorship tally touched Rs 300 crore for the first time in 2018 registering growth of 20 per cent.
IPL continues to be a star on TV even as digital moves up the ladder.
Vinit Karnik, business head, ESP Properties said, “2018 was a spectacular year for the business of sports and 2019 will be another power-packed year. There will be a significant rise in sports leagues and tournaments since IPL has inspired other sports leagues such as PKL, ISL, and PBL.
"From the IPL team sponsorship seeing a growth of 20 per cent or for the first time ever to kabaddi registering a growth of 31 per cent, factors like these have given sports sponsorship a boost.
"With IPL now and ICC Cricket World Cup coming up we also expect sports celebrities to be the talk of the town, monopolising consumer attention and advertising money.”
Kohli valued at Rs 200 crore tops the charts, with Dhoni at second spot (Rs 100 crore) and Tendulkar (five years into his retirement) is third-most valued sportsperson (Rs 40 crore).