From 8000 Million revenue of IPL to 300% growth of PKL- 4 Takeaways from the SportzPower Report 2016

Marketing | April 12, 2016 | Feature


ESP properties- the Entertainment & Sports arm of GroupM and SportzPower, one of country’s leading provider of sports business news recently released the 2016 report on sports sponsorship in India. The report titled- ‘Sporting Nation in The Making III’ is a comprehensive analysis on the Indian sports sponsorship market and emphasises on the advertising revenues by sporting leagues, on ground engagement spends by brands and the success of non-cricketing sporting IP’s in the country. 

In this feature, we at EVENTFAQS, take a deep dive into SportzPower Report 2016 and analyse its implications on the events and experiential marketing industry of the country.

1-IPL continues to thrive

After going through a low viewership phase in 2014, the biggest cricketing carnival of the country bounced back in 2015 and grew both ratings and revenue wise. IPL 2015 emerged as one of its most successful editions and roped in INR 8000 Million through ad sales for Sony Network. The numbers indicate that brands will continue to pump money into ATL mediums of marketing for IPL as the tournament is primarily consumed through television.

So brands prefer ATL over BTL marketing at IPL? Well, the answer is No. Interestingly, the report states that brands investment on experience driven marketing in Cricket was reported to have grown a path-breaking 30% from INR 7,948 Million in 2014 to INR 10,305 Million in 2015 (where IPL was the only big bang cricketing event). Clearly Big numbers are being pumped into experiential marketing when it comes to IPL and this in fact means more business for event agencies and vendors in the successive editions.

2-Success stories for other sporting properties

For those who think that only cricket sells in India be prepared to take your words back as the success stories of other sporting IP’s such as Indian Super League, Pro Kabaddi League and Hockey India League are encouraging too. ISL had 18 sponsors in 2015 (up from 10 in 2014) and they collectively contributed INR 1000 million as sponsorship amount, of which title sponsor Hero Moto Corp is paying INR 180 million per year. The ground sponsorship for Football telescoped from INR 595 million in 2014 to INR 1140 million in 2015 which is a staggering growth of 91.6%. 

The Pro Kabaddi League too had a happy story to share as its revenue touched INR 480 million from INR 120 million in its inaugural season which is whooping 300% growth. 

The biggest and the most promising shocker of 2015 was of course Pro Wrestling League which touched INR 100 million with 4 central sponsors – Dabur Chyawanprash Title), Thums Up (Powered By), Jaquar (Associate) & Shiv Naresh (Brand Partner) in its first edition itself. Combined PWL and Hockey India League managed on ground sponsorship of INR 2230 million.

The above figures are averment of the fact that successful editions sporting IP’s will result in more marketing money being pumped in. One can also expect new IP’s churning up every year as an inspiration from these success stories. This in fact, is a happy situation for all the brands who have restricted marketing budgets but are looking for maximum value on ROI through high visibility.

3-Mobile and Social Media have a crucial role to play

A major success indicator for a sporting league today is the conversations it is able to create on the social media. The findings of the SportzPower Report also state that 70% fans bring their mobile devices to share in stadia experiences and hence mobile friendly marketing is very important for sporting leagues as well as individual teams and brands associated with the sport. It can be expected that brands will be more aggressively using social media in their experiential marketing endeavours in the future as well.

4- Expectations from 2016

Yes, 2015 was a fabulous year for Sporting Properties in the country but that is not it. The report clearly mentions that sports teams and federations have developed a better understanding of marketing and are in an evolving state of sync with corporate sponsors to ensure a symbiotic commercial relationship. As a result, we can expect sporting IP’s of Table Tennis, Cue Sports and Volleyball entering the market in 2016. Overall Sports Sponsorship in India increased by 12.3% in 2015, compared to the previous year. Clearly with more sporting IP’s in the market, the marketing money in these properties are expectant to increase too. So if you are looking forward to launch a sportainment IP, now is the time.

Festivals, Lifestyle, Sports, Business...Click here for the full list of categories in Event Intellectual Properties at WOW Awards Asia 2016.


ESP properties and SportzPower recently released the 2016 report on sports sponsorship in India. In this we take a look at the highlights of the report and its implications.

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