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As the appetite for non-cricket games grows in India, they are also garnering a greater share of advertising spends, according to a joint report released by ESP properties—the Entertainment and Sports arm of GroupM—and SportzPower, a provider of sports business news.
While cricket still rakes in a major share of ad spends, other games were the biggest growth drivers in 2015, states the third edition of the report titled ‘Sporting Nation in the Making’.
Overall, sports sponsorships grew 12.3 percent in 2015 to Rs 5,185.4 crore in India, accounting for 10.4 percent of the total advertising expenditure in the country in 2015, as reported by GroupM.
“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,” says Vinit Karnik, business head, ESP Properties.
The report notes that there has been a definitive change in the landscape of Indian sports with the launch of non-cricket leagues like the Pro Wrestling League (IWL), Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) and the Indian Soccer League (ISL). With growing interest in sports like football, tennis and running, brands too are ready to put their money where the mouth is. Mobile handsets, real estate, FMCG, ecommerce and financial services companies were among the top advertisers across sports leagues.
The report brackets ad revenues into four categories—Ground Sponsorship, Team Sponsorship & Franchise Fee, endorsements and On Air sponsorship investments.
Ground sponsorship for cricket—in a year when IPL was the only big bang cricketing event—grew 30 percent to Rs 1,030.5 crore from Rs 794.8 crore last year. Also, despite being embroiled in controversies, IPL’s viewership and sponsorship remained unaffected. It grew 13.9 percent in 2015 to contribute Rs 529.5 crore.
On the non-cricket sports front, PKL’s revenue rose to Rs 48 crore, a year-on-year growth of 300 percent. Also, Distance Running witnessed a growth of 53.5 percent from a year ago and the PWL and Hockey India League, along with other sports, closed the year with revenues of Rs 223 crore.