ESP Sports Report 2019: Brands spent Rs 482 crores on athlete ambassadors; Virat Kohli, M S Dhoni took 66%

By Anirban Roy Choudhury , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing
Published : April 05, 2019 04:56 AM
The report states that overall sports sponsorship grew by 12 per cent in 2018 while sports advertising grew to Rs. 7762 crore.

ESP properties, the entertainment and sports division of GroupM, released its 2019 report on sports sponsorship in India. As per the report's findings, overall sports sponsorship saw a healthy growth of 12 per cent in 2018 and sports advertising grew to Rs. 7762 crore. (Click here to read the full report.)

While an overall level of growth of on-ground sponsorship was 20 per cent, cricket witnessed a momentous upsurge of 34 per cent as IPL Central Sponsorship contributed to revenue of more than Rs 600 crores in 2018.

The report finds that the IPL team sponsorship tally had a better year, touching Rs 300 crore, growing by 20 per cent. It was also reported that 85 per cent of all ad expenditures on sports happened on TV in 2018. Digital grew at 44 per cent, mostly triggered by Hotstar and SonyLIV.

Emerging sports also saw positive growth signals.

The ISL (Indian Super League), over the years, had grown into a strong property with a calendar spread over six months.

Kabbadi had a good year in 2018, registering a growth of 31 per cent over the previous year in on-ground sponsorship.

This was further backed by the Odisha government announcing a five-year deal with Hockey India for junior and senior - men and women teams.

Tata Motors also became the principal sponsor of Indian wrestling in non-cricket team sponsorship.

The report also states that big money continues to chase the king as cricket widens the lead over the rest.

2018 saw a 22 per cent growth in Athlete Brand Endorsement Value. Of the Rs 482 crore spent by brands on sports star acquisitions, 81 per cent was accounted for by India's most popular sport. Two cricketers alone - Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni - pulled in 66 per cent of all athlete endorsement monies spent by Indian brands, last year. Though Kohli leads from the front, touching an endorsement value of approximately Rs 200 crore, Pusarla Sindhu had a momentous 2018 both on and off the court with 11 brands and an endorsement value of Rs 35 crore.

Vinit Karnik Vinit Karnik

Vinit Karnik - Business Head, ESP Properties, says in a media statement, "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 others like PKL, ISL and PBL. From the IPL team sponsorship seeing a growth of 20 per cent to Kabaddi registering a growth of 31 per cent, factors like these have given sports sponsorship a boost. With IPL and the ICC Cricket World Cup coming up, we also expect sports celebrities to be the talk of the town, monopolising consumer attention and advertising money."

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