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IPL's valuation has doubled to $4.13 bn this year and growing: Onspon.com

The Indian Premier League 2016 has been an interesting event for sponsors and brand analysts alike. With the tournament nearing its conclusion, it has been a mixed season for the teams and organisers alike. While the tournament title sponsor fee has consistently gone up from Rs 50 crore (DLF) to Rs 80 crore (Pepsi) to Rs 100 crore (Vivo), the amounts spent by the title sponsors have varied from Rs 250 crore (2008-2012) to Rs 240 crore (2013-2015) to Rs 200 crore (2016-2017).

Hitesh Gossain, CEO, Onspon.com, a leading sponsorship marketplace, sums up the power of IPL with a few key figures of enormous significance. He said, “A near-perfect demonstration of an exemplary money making model, the valuation of the Indian Premier League has grown to $4.13 billion. As compared to last year’s $2.01 billion, this time it has doubled and is still growing at a frightening pace.”

Even in the time of global meltdown, IPL brand has emerged as a clear winner. Not only has it given cricket a new face over the years, but has also made the franchises richer, said a report from Brand France, a leading brand valuation consultancy.

According to a media report published recently, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) posted the highest revenues among all IPL teams in 2014-15, the last year for which data was available, when it posted 30 per cent growth in revenues and 54 per cent jump in profits despite the fact that half of the tournament in 2014 was played in the UAE due to the Lok Sabha elections.

An assessment by Onspon.com clearly indicates that the top teams are able to extract more in terms of sponsorship revenue basis their outreach and engagement metrices. Also, franchises charge performance bonus for qualifying to play-offs and finals that leads to increase in revenues. IPL also offers performance bonus and price money, which add to the bottom line. As a trend, franchises with iconic players have attracted more sponsorship revenues.

One of the most standout features of this season is how franchises have offered their sponsors a brand new avenue of reaching out to their target segments via content deals and digital extensions. KKR is leading this segment via their content-licensing deal with Star Sports. Their “Inside KKR” and “The Knight Club” shows are allowing brands to get a whole new perspective into audience targeting.

“It is potentially a gold mine for teams in the coming years. We could see more teams following KKR’s lead and creating a revenue stream from their in-house content sources. It will also give sponsors an additional avenue to reach out to the target audience,” said Faraaz Peerbhai, Head of Brand Outreach, Onspon.com.

Technology brands, more specifically, mobile companies are ruling the roost when it comes to partnering with the IPL teams. From title sponsor Vivo to brands like Gionee (KKR), LYF (Rising Pune Supergiants, Mumbai Indians), Samsung (Mumbai Indians) and HTC (Kings XI Punjab), IPL is proving to be the biggest playing ground for a segment where companies are fighting tooth and nail to gain an upper hand.

Gossain draws a conclusion on the mega cricket carnival from a sponsor viewpoint by stating a very important face, “Brands always doubt whether the IPL bubble will burst, but 2016 has once again shown that IPL is the undoubted king when it comes to value for money. What is great to see this year are the IPL teams pushing boundaries in terms of innovation and are trying to give more value to their partners. For example, you will be seeing so many more Facebook live videos this year. It is welcome fodder for potential partner brands and it is only going to get bigger.”

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