Sports sponsorship in India grew by 12.3% to Rs 51,854 mn in 2015
Sports sponsorship grew by 12.3 per cent in 2015 to Rs 51,854 million in India. This number is 10.4 per cent of the total Indian AdEx in 2015 (reported by GroupM’s ‘This Year, Next Year’).
Into its third edition now, the report on sports sponsorship in India brought out by ESP properties, the Entertainment & Sports arm of GroupM, and SportzPower discusses the success of non-cricket leagues, fan engagement and how brands can maximise value from association from sports. The report covers the size of the sports industry of India in four parts – On Ground Sponsorship, Team Sponsorship & Franchise Fee, Athlete Management, and On Air sponsorship investments. The report also examines how while cricket continues to be the biggest chunk in the sports industry pie, non-cricket sports are emerging as growth drivers.
Vinit Karnik, Business Head, ESP Properties, emphasised how sports can be harnessed as a successful communication medium by brands. He said, “There is definitely a cultivated sense of understanding between corporate sponsors, sports teams and federations. A symbiotic marketing relationship has emerged within the sporting ecosystem in India. 2015 saw sports accounting for 10.4 per cent of the total media spend, which is an increase of 12.3 per cent over the previous calendar year. 2016 will be fantastic for not only players and federations, but also for brands and spectators, with a deeper engagement with sporting properties.”
“Sports other than cricket have successfully established themselves in terms of revenue and fandom within the Indian sporting firmament,” noted Thomas Abraham, Co-Founder, SportzPower. He added, “Sports like kabaddi and football have massively increased sponsorship revenues in 2015 and we saw return editions of sports like tennis and hockey as well. The successful launch of the Pro Wrestling League bodes well for 2016, which will see the advent of more franchise based leagues. We expect 2016 to be a good year for cricket as well as other sports, generating ad spends and clocking in corporate investments at an exponential pace.”
2016 is a great year for the sporting community, including emerging talent, federations, broadcasters and fans. As the Indian market opens up to new sporting leagues and new forms of exhibition, there is great interest in sports such as Football, Tennis, and Running, to name a few. Brands that have made investments in sporting events early on are seeing greater returns on their investment over the last two years. With the advent of non-cricketing sports taking a share of the sponsorship pie, emerging talent is exposed to international players, better coaching techniques and greater interesting in their chosen game. With this kind of exposure, the next 3 to 5 years will also see heightened attention from broadcasters, as they look at newer platforms to increase advertising engagement. The ultimate winner however will be the Indian sports fan, as the market will cater to their need for consumption in both mass and niche sporting action.