GroupM’s entertainment, esports and sports division, ESP, has released the sports sponsorship report for India 2020. This report takes into consideration - sponsorship spends, celebrity endorsement and media spends on sports properties.
The size of the Indian sports industry fell to Rs 5,894 crores in the year. This was at Rs 9,109 crores in 2019.
Media spends on sports was at Rs 3,657 crores in 2020, down from Rs 5,232 crores.
Endorsements was the only category that saw an increase, as it rose to Rs 564 crore in 2020, from Rs 537 crores in 2019.
Sponsorships fell from Rs 3,340 crores in 2020 to Rs 1,673 crores in 2019. While sponsorships on-ground fell from Rs 2,006 crore to Rs 850 crore, team sponsorship from Rs 934 crore to Rs 646 crore and franchisee sponsorship dipped from Rs 400 crore to Rs 177 crore.
Among all media spends on sports, cricket dominated by amassing Rs 5,133 crore of all spends, which equates to 87%. The Indian cricket team could play only 25 international matches in the year, compared to 54 in 2019. The misses due to the pandemic includes the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
According to the report, 2021 will see recovery, with several cancelled events from 2020 expected to be played this year.
Growth in advertising on esports properties increased by 300-400% during the year. The aggregated revenue from esports in India was at Rs 503 crore, and the country has a 9.8% share of the global market.
The announcement of a medal event for esports at the Asian Games in 2022 is expected to see the genre rise further according to the report.
As stated above, sports endorsements rose from Rs 537 crore in 2019 to Rs 564 crore. Cricket
aggregated Rs 517 crore of the total pie, of which Virat Kohli amassed more than Rs 200 crore. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was second on the list. Dhoni and Kohli contributed to 58% of the total sponsorship deals.
Sachin Tendulkar was third on the list, as he crossed Rs 25 crores during the year.
Among women cricketers, Mithali Raj topped the brand endorsement list.
As the Olympics were cancelled, non-cricket endorsements saw a 43% dip.
Prasanth Kumar, CEO, GroupM South Asia, said, “With the lockdown being enforced and subsequent stoppage of play on the field, the void was stark with no visibility on how the anti-Covid efforts would pan out. And even without any activities, our sports heroes stayed close to us. They came closer by actively engaging with their followers on social media and the spontaneity of this online content flow and with the open arms that we welcomed it, is the demonstration of the power of sports in our country. Speedy responses and improvisations are on the go where what the situation demanded and among the many things the Covid-19 situation taught us marketers, was the need to be adaptable as the tide turns fast around us.”
Vinit Karnik, head – sports, esports and entertainment, GroupM South Asia, said, “Many sports properties were either cancelled or postponed and even sponsorship and media spends were impacted. But it is commendable how the sporting ecosystem reacted to this crisis taking into consideration the very fact that sports were back sooner than expected. Even in the face of an adverse context, the stakeholders came together to provide the spark the industry needed. The IPL and ISL are an exemplary demonstration of India’s preparedness to host major sporting events under such taxing circumstances. With many sporting events lined up in 2021, fans might have to make choices between certain events in terms of what, when and how much to watch, leading to a rise in demand for subscription-viewing in live sports. 2020 looks like that proverbial backward step we take before a giant leap, like the one we are expected to take in 2021, as part of making of the sporting nation."