Sports being a multi-billion dollar economy, worth the annual budgets of many a nations, make as many headlines and excitement off the field as many talking points are created with the on-ground action.
Indian sports as an industry remain no exception. 2019 has been an impactful year for Indian sports in terms of commercial deals – some of their monetary value, some for the impact and some adding a new leaf to the history of Indian sports.
InsideSport brings to its readers ten biggest impactful and talking points of Indian sports:
- Manchester City-Mumbai City FC : In a first for Indian sports, Mumbai City Football Club has disinvested its majority stake to a foreign investor as Manchester City owners City Football announced a 65% acquisition in the Indian Super League Club earlier this month. This is being hailed as a landmark deal for Indian sports. Albeit, subject to statutory clearances. The Abu Dhabi-controlled City Football Group, which already owns majority stakes in seven other football clubs around the world, is the first international brand to make an investment in an Indian sports club. The deal has subsequently got Manchester City support and the Etihad Airlines sponsorship deal for the Mumbai City FC.
- PayTM BCCI renewal :Payment service company PayTM has retained the title sponsorship rights for the international and domestic cricket in India with a ₹ 326.40 crore deal for the next four-year cycle. As part of the deal, PayTM brand owners One 97 Communications Pvt Ltd will be paying ₹ 3.80 crore for every international match in India between October 2019 and 2023. The company had acquired the same rights at ₹ 2.42 crore per match in October 2015. BCCI has got a 57% hike for the title sponsorship value of 87 bilateral international matches scheduled in India during the rights period.
- PV Sindhu-Team Visa: Payment technology company Visa has signed PV Sindhu as one of its global brand ambassador for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Sindhu is included in the Visa roaster of over 70 athletes across more than 30 sports disciplines, who will be promoting the brand at the Olympics as Team Visa Tokyo 2020. Sindhu remains the lone Indian on the prestigious roaster as part of the two-year deal. She is also endorsing the brand in India.
- Rohit Sharma – LaLiga Brand Ambassador: In yet another path-breaking deals for Indian sports, LaLiga had named Rohit Sharma as one of its global brand ambassadors. The Indian cricket team vice-captain in the white-ball format has become the first Indian and cricketer to endorse the Spanish top division football league. LaLiga India managing director, Jose Antonio Cachza has told insidesport.co in an exclusive interview that “Fans here (in India) love cricket, it is their number one sport. We want to grow with that audience and make football as their second sport and also to make LaLiga as their international favorite league.
Rohit over the year has emerged as the second-highest-paid Indian sports icon for brands behind his Team India leader Virat Kohli.
- Dream11-Steadview Capital Funding : Dream11 became the first Indian sports business company to enter the Unicorn club as India’s online gaming brand completed a secondary investment by Steadview Capital, an Asia-focused alternative asset manager. The investment had taken Dream11 valuation past $1 billion. Dream11 remains the market leader with over 50 million users and the brand’s user base has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 230% over a period of three years.
Steadview Capital had reportedly invested $ 60 million in the company in April this year.
- JSW – First ever India House at Olympics:JSW Sports in association with the Indian Olympic Association has announced the launch of the India House in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games. The exclusive hospitality zone for the Indian athletes at the 2022 Olympic Games will be built across 2,227 square metres area in a multi-level building. This will be the first occasion when the Indian athletes will get Indian hospitality at a “home away from home”.
The India House in Tokyo is schedule to be opened in Tokyo from July, well in time for the Games slated from July 10 to August 9.
- EbixMoney entery into sports:Ebix Cash has made big strides in sports sponsorship sphere. The fast emerging digital transaction brand will be seen prominently on two Indian Premier League team kits. A dominant leader in India’s foreign exchange business, Ebix Cash has inked deals as the title sponsor of the Kings XI Punjab with the highest ever single sponsorship commitment to the franchisee. The Ebix Cash logo will be displayed prominently on the front of the Kings XI Punjab.
The company has also signed with the Delhi Capitals as an associate sponsor with the right to display the brand logo on the back of the team’s jersey.
Ebix Cash has also made a serious bid to sponsor the international and domestic cricket in India. However, PayTM had retained the rights for the next four year. Sports Solutionz were the consulting agency for Ebix Money’s BCCI sponsorship bid.
- WWE-Sony Pictures renews : Sony Pictures Sports India retained the broadcast rights for one of its prime properties in a five-year deal that is said to be worth $ 240 million. The WWE media rights cycle in India will start from this January. Neither Sony Pictures network, nor WWE India have made a formal announcement about the deal. Sony had got the WWE rights for the Indian territory as part of its $385 million acquisition of Ten Sports. The present rights cycle runs till December end. WWE attracts close to 390 million unique viewers in India, with a substantial contribution from the Hindi language broadcast on Sony Max.
- Virat Kohli Deals :Forbes India’s No. 1 celebrity for 2019, country’s highest paid brand icon and the only cricketer and Indian in Forbes’ Top 100 athletes list for the year, Virat Kohli has made as many headlines in the brand world as for his domination on the field with the might and craft of his willow. Online clothing brand Myntra had in May this year announced Kohli along with wife Anushka as their first brand ambassadors in a combined deal estimated to be over ₹ 10 crore. Kohli as India’s highest paid and leading brand icon charges ₹ 7-10 crore per annum for a single endorsement deal.
Kohli during the year toppled Salman Khan as India’s leading brand ambassador in the Forbes list of top 100 Indian celebrities. Forbes top ranked Indian celebrity is earning ₹ 252.72 crore a year, according to the magazine. Kohli has 31 brands on his roaster with most of the deals running from his multi-year contracts.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni deals : Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been absent from the cricket action after Team India’s heart-breaking, semi-finals exit from the ICC World Cup 2019 in England, but Brand Dhoni continued to dominate the Indian endorsement market with new deals and commercials. redBus, Italian luxury brand Panerai Dhoni special edition models, Mastercard, Indian Terrain, his oswn Brand Seven, Samudha Group kept the former India captain in news and his bank balance growing in 2019.