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Business News/ Sports / Cricket News/  Startup funds crunch is not affecting IPL sponsorship

Startup funds crunch is not affecting IPL sponsorship

Kolkata Knight Riders has roped in online fantasy sports platform MyFab11 as its principal partner

Delhi Capitals is targeting ₹100 crore in sponsorship this season. Premium
Delhi Capitals is targeting 100 crore in sponsorship this season.

NEW DELHI:Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises are set to generate record sponsorship revenues this season despite a funding drought that has sidelined many of last season’s heavy-spending startups.

Companies have doled out crores of rupees as sponsorship money ahead of the league’s 16th edition, with Reliance Industries-owned Rise Worldwide alone facilitating 60-plus multi-team deals worth 400 crore, spanning beverages, digital collectables, and other traditional advertisers.

In all, the 10 franchises have locked sponsorship revenues worth around 800 crore, with teams earning 70-110 crore each. In total, more than 100 brands have signed deals this time, including 28 new brands.

Mumbai Indians signed up 100 crore in sponsorship revenue, while Chennai Super Kings will earn more than 90 crore. Both Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Capitals have closed sponsorships worth over 85 crore each.

While some teams have long-term deals with their top sponsors, including Mumbai Indians (fintech brand Slice) and CSK (TVS Eurogrip), this year also witnessed a 25 crore per year deal between Qatar Airways and Royal Challengers Bangalore for three years, facilitated by JSW Sports.

Delhi Capitals, which is targeting 100 crore in sponsorships this season, signed DP World as its jersey sponsor, while Kolkata Knight Riders roped in online fantasy sports platform MyFab11 as its principal partner.

“We have done well over 60 deals this year, about 30% over last season. Because the pandemic is behind us, there were a lot of interesting multi-team deals we did as well. We continued to focus on value for brands for multiple teams since we feel that India is many Indias and brands should know how they can be associated with multiple teams and yet bring out a different flavour with multiple narratives," Nikhil Bardia, head of sponsorship sales at RISE Worldwide told Mint.

The company has done nine multi-team deals, including that of Reliance-owned Jio, Viacom18 and Campa Cola, along with Dream11, Fancode, Rario, BKT Tires, Bira and Boat Lifestyle. It is working exclusively with Gujarat Titans, for which it has brought about 26 brands on board. The company also was instrumental in the Luminous front-of-shirt sponsorship for Rajasthan Royals.

The top four teams have done about 30-40 crore on average in each of their top deals and 20-25 crore for other major deals, industry experts said.

Dhiraj Malhotra, chief executive of Delhi Capitals, which signed DP World last week as its jersey sponsor, said the IPL has become a hot property despite challenges. “It’s been a tough market. I won’t say it has been easy. But we have upped our ask from sponsors because it is after three years that fans are back in the stadium, and we can give back a lot more. We will have seven home games, and sponsors will look to leverage that," said Malhotra. The company has closed all but one of its spots and intends to close all before the season begins. The team expects close to 100 crore as its revenue from sponsors this season.

“The IPL continues to have a strong brand appeal. Even with the startup shake up, we saw traditional brands coming in and deliver the same or more values as it was with the startups," said Bardia.

The size of the Indian sports industry was estimated to have surpassed 9,500 crore in 2021, according to a report by GroupM ESP. 2021 also saw a comeback for sports sponsorships and media deals after the pandemic lull.

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Varuni Khosla
Varuni serves as a Senior Assistant Editor at Mint. Her responsibilities encompass crafting compelling narratives that take a deep dive into hospitality companies, the business of art, luxury brands, the intricacies of the business of sports, advertising and marketing landscapes, gaming insights, tourism and travel industry trends. She also covers alcohol commerce. She is skilled at communication, meticulous research, and insightful analysis keeping contemporary shifts and advancements within the lifestyle and business domains at the heart of her work.
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Published: 29 Mar 2023, 11:57 PM IST
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