Year 2018: TOP 10 Sports Business Deals and News from India

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Indian Sports market is growing by the day and the year 2018 provided huge testimony to this fact. The year saw some of the biggest cricket media rights deals, few record endorsement deals for the top Indian sports persons, historic commercial firsts for non-cricket sports and properties and some acquisitions and take overs in the Indian Sports industry. The year 2018 also saw sharp increase in both sports consumption data on broadcast and also some new records were created on the commercial pitch. InsideSport.co has compiled list of 10 top sports deals / news which created huge impact in year 2018 on the Indian sports industry.

INDIA SPORTS BUSINESS TOP 10 deals / news

INDIAN SPORTS BUSINESS DEAL 1: BCCI Rights goes to Star India

Star India further created leadership position for itself with the acquisition of the Board of Control for Cricket in India media rights. In the first ever live e-auction for sports media rights, Star India outbid Sony Picture Network challenge with the successful consolidated bid of ₹6,138 crores to acquire all the BCCI media rights for a five-year cycle (2018-2023). Star India now holds broadcast rights for the cricket’s most premium properties, including the Indian Premier League and the International Cricket Council. This deal is historic in nature because it created new per-match benchmark for team India’s home game i.e 60.18 crore. The per match value in the last rights cycle was 43.2 crore every game.

INDIAN SPORTS BUSINESS DEAL 2: Sony pockets England Cricket Board
After losing to Star India in IPL & BCCI rights bidding, it was critical for Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) to acquire some big cricket board. SPNI team did the same by acquiring exclusive media rights from the England and Wales Cricket Board for the Indian subcontinent for a period of five years. The deal enabled SPNI to broadcast India’s tour of England in 2018. 

With this acquisition, SPN’s exclusive cricket portfolio now includes most of the major international cricket boards, namely, Cricket Australia, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket, Cricket South Africa, Cricket West Indies and Zimbabwe Cricket Board. Though the financial terms of the deal were not revealed but as per the InsideSport sources, the deal is in the range of USD 200 Million for the period of 5 years

INDIAN SPORTS BUSINESS DEAL 3: HERO MOTOCORP signs Tiger Woods

In one of the biggest endorsement deal by the Indian brand, Hero MotoCorp renewed their corporate partnership deal with Golf world’s biggest icon Tiger Woods. Woods will continue to be Hero MotoCorp’s Global Corporate Partner for the next four years. India’s leading two-wheeler brand announced the extension of their partnership with the iconic golfer. Hero MotoCorp and Woods’ association began in 2014 and the announcement of the renewal of their partnership was made on the eve of the Hero World Challenge, which sees the world’s top 18 golfers compete at the Albany, Bahamas. According to the sources, Hero MotoCorp is shelling our 150 Cr for 4 year relationship with Woods. This deal will once again enable Hero to bring Woods back in India either in year 2020 or 2021.

INDIAN SPORTS BUSINESS DEAL 4: TATA Motors – Wrestling / Sporty / WFI deal

If one deal created the most impact in the non-cricket market of Indian sporting eco-system, it was Tata Motors partnership with Indian Wrestling and Sporty Solutionz. In first of its kind, Tata Motors signed up as principal sponsor for the Indian Wrestling for period of 3 years. This partnership is hailed as one of the biggest non-cricket, sports-brand association in the country, where the world’s 4th largest commercial vehicle player Tata Motors will be going beyond mere sponsorship and act as a catalyst to promote the sport, encourage and develop young and rising sporting talent, enabling them to achieve their aspirations. As a part of the historic mega partnership, Tata Motors will support top performing 50 wrestlers (both men and women), across categories, on both domestic and international circuit. The partnership weaved by India’s leading sports rights management company Sporty Solutionz enabled the Wrestling Federation of India to announce central contracts for the top wrestlers of the country.

INDIAN SPORTS BUSINESS DEAL 5: JSW acquires 50% of Delhi IPL team 

Indian Premier League last year was in news for the ₹16,347.50 crore media rights bid from Star Sports, in 2018 cricket world’s richest professional entity made headlines for JSW Sports acquisition of Delhi Daredevils 50% equity stake from GMR Sports. The deal was reportedly inked for total valuation of ₹1,100 crores ($169 Million). This ensured the GMR Sports, the Delhi Daredevils founder owners, recoup their investments and still retaining 50% stake in the IPL franchisee. This being the first ever stake sale for any franchise of the Indian Premier league, the significance of the deal further increases.

INDIAN SPORTS BUSINESS DEAL 6: Kerala Blasters  acquired by LULU Group
In the first for Indian football, the Indian Super League (ISL) witnessed one of the most marquee name enchasing his investments. Sachin Tendulkar and promoter Nimmagadda Prasad sold their Kerala Blasters team to Dubai-based Lulu Group. Tendulkar who owned 20% of the club and Prasad who owned the majority stake decided to offload their respective stakes in favor of Lulu Group. The reports suggested both Tendulkar & Prasad got 4 to 5 times of the values for their investm

 

ents made in the club.
INDIAN SPORTS BUSINESS DEAL 7: Tencent invests USD 100 Million in Dream11. 
The year 2018 saw one of the biggest investment made into any Indian Sporting venture. Fantasy Sports platform, Tencent Holdings announced $100 million investment in Dream11. Through this deal, Dream11 was valued at $500 Million. The Indian fantasy sports platform already boasts of Kalaari Capital, Multiples Alternate Asset Management and Think Investments in its investors list. Incorporated in 2007 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream11, has reportedly reached 20 million users playing Fantasy Cricket, Football, Kabaddi, and NBA, claims to hold around 90% market share. It is also the official partner of the top sports leagues in the world such as the Hero CPL, Hero ISL, and NBA in India. The company also roped in former Indian captain MS Dhoni as its brand ambassador during the year 2018

 

INDIAN SPORTS BUSINESS DEAL 8: ISL Break up for IMG & RELIANCE
Year 2018 saw another significant development in the Indian football as Indian Super League owners decided to break-up with IMG as partners for the league. The ongoing 2018 season is being staged under the aegis of Reliance Industries Limited with Star Sports as the other partner. Alliance partner IMG, the global sports management brand, is out of the association that had launched and developed India’s premier football league. The Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), ISL’S holding company will now only have two partners i.e Reliance and Star Sports. 
INDIAN SPORTS BUSINESS DEAL 9: Adidas appoints Hima Das as India brand ambassador  

The year 2018 saw historic performance by India’s Hima Das in the athletic track. Das at the age of 19 won India’s first ever world championship Gold medal at the World Under 20 championships. Seizing up the opportunity, Adidas India announced a tie-up with India’s rising and most promising athlete Hima Das. The young athletic sensation has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the Indian entity of the German global sportswear giant. This deal is important in Indian sporting landscape because till date the iconic brand has always shown trust on Indian cricketers as their brand ambassadors. For the first time brand announced tie-up with non-cricket sportsperson in the country which clearly shows the growth of non-cricket genre in the country.

INDIAN SPORTS BUSINESS DEAL 10: La-Liga Deal with Facebook

La-Liga one of the most followed football league globally created another first for the Indian sports market. For the first time ever any global sporting property decided to tie-up for their media rights with digital platform. La-Liga tied up this year with Facebook for its live sports broadcast in India. The social media giant exclusively acquired the La Liga broadcast rights for the India, which also happens to be Facebook’s maiden sports content acquisition for the Indian sub-continent territory. The deal was clear testament to the fact that the global sports media rights eco-system is changing and digital giants like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and others will play huge role in Sports Broadcast going forward. Post the acquisition, Facebook tied up with Sony Pictures Network for La-Liga broadcast in India.


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