ESP properties, the entertainment and sports division of GroupM, has released the 2019 edition of the India Sports Sponsorship Report which states that sports advertising in the country grew to Rs 7,762 crores in 2018, up from Rs 7,300 crores from 2017.
Majority of the growth in 2018 came from cricket. Football in 2018 de-grew in comparison to 2017, because during the latter India hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Overall on-ground sponsorship grew by 20 per cent. Cricket on-ground sponsorship grew by 34 per cent.
The IPL team sponsorship tally grew and touched Rs 300 crore for the first time ever. IPL franchise fee, amounting to approximately Rs 291 crore ceased to be valid in 2018 rendering a year-on-year comparison irrelevant in that area, netting off this difference. Now, teams instead pay 10 per cent of their total sponsorship revenue to the BCCI.
Eightyfive per cent (Rs 3,779 crore) of all ad expenditures in sports happened on TV in 2018. Digital grew at 44 per cent to reach Rs 475 crore. Print spends decreased from Rs 356 crore in 2017 to Rs 178 crore in 2018.
While overall football de-grew, the Indian Super League didn't de-grow. With parts of the tournament played in 2018 and it culminating only in 2019, exact sponsorship figures were not revealed by the report.
Kabbadi grew in 2018 and registered a 31 per cent growth over the previous year in on-ground sponsorship.
In terms of brand endorsements, 2018 saw a 22 per cent growth in athlete endorsement value. Of the Rs 482 crore spent by brands on sports stars acquisitions, 81 per cent was accounted just by Indian cricketers. Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, pulled in 66 per cent of all athlete endorsement monies spent by Indian brands last year. Kohli led by touching close to Rs 200 crore. Pusarla Sindhu was third on the list.
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.”