Sports sponsorship in India grew by 17 % in 2019 according to the seventh edition of the ‘Sporting Nation in the Making’, an annual report by ESP properties.
According to the report, cricket was the major source of the growth. The major push came from on-ground sponsorship around India’s premium T20 league, the Indian Premier League and the ICC Cricket World Cup which was held in England and Wales. Sponsorship from cricket was evaluated to Rs. 1,290 crore. Football came a distant second with total sponsorship of Rs. 140 crore. Kabbadi came third with sponsorship amount of Rs. 128 crore.
On-ground Sponsorship grew by 25%, for the first time, crossing Rs. 2,000 crore mark. Overall industry upsurge was RS. 1,347 crore of which RS. 800 crore was contributed by media spends alone growing at 18%, states the report.
Digital sponsorship also got a major shot in the arm in the same period. The sponsorship on digital platforms grew by a whopping 84% from Rs. 475 crore to RS. 875 crore.
TV continues to grow as the biggest medium for ad spends in sports, brands are also having a clear digital plan along with a presence on TV to build a rapport with their consumers by reaching out to them in more ways than one.
Engagement and interactivity are important elements of consumer marketing, and digital technology can be leveraged well to give differentiated solutions to sports lovers. 2019 also saw fantasy sports applications growing fast as advertisers and this traction will be carried forward into 2020 also with new experiences for the Indian sports fan.
Indian cricket board the BCCI saw the home series deals saw double the jump in sports sponsorship amounts. Paytm’s bid was at 58% incremental value in comparison to the previous per match value. Dream11, Lafarge Holcim (ACC Cement and Ambuja Cement), Hyundai will be the official sponsors for the next four years. At Rs. 2.59 Crore per match, the three sponsors will layout 73% more than the previous round.
The non-cricketing space was dominated by women athletes. World Champion and Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu was the leading non-cricketing athlete in 2019 in terms of brand endorsements. While Sindhu added four premier brands to her portfolio, the most notable one among them was her tie-up with VISA that made her the first Indian athlete to endorse the financial services brand.
Six-time World Champion Mary Kom was another prominent name in the list of brand endorsers. While she brought glory for India at international Boxing events, she also added four brands to her tally. Adding to their list of brands were track & field sensation Hima Das and Olympic Medallist Sakshi Malik too. All the women athletes added 11 new brands in 2019 takes the tally to 45 from 34 in 2018.