Although IPL13 was declared a success beating the challenging odds of a raging pandemic, individual franchises in the T20 cricket league did not have a lucrative outing last year.
This year, however, the franchises appear to be on a stronger wicket with new multi-year sponsorship deals. Some are also putting in motion new revenue streams.
Even though this year also the tournament, which commences on April 9, will be held behind closed doors and thus rules out any in-stadia revenue for the franchises, they are padding up with optimism.
Take for instance, Kolkata Knight Riders, which had bagged Mobile Premier League as its principal sponsor in 2020. It has now signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the eSports firm.
Similarly, Royal Challengers Bangalore too has inked a strategic three-year deal with global sportswear brand Puma as the official kit partner.
While last year the franchises, which were on a weak wicket, could only get brands to commit to tactical one year sponsorship deals due to economic uncertainty, this year, on the back of a successful 13 th edition of IPL, they have managed to ink longer-term strategic deals.
Vinod Bisht, Interim CEO of JSW-GMR co-owned IPL franchise Delhi Capitals said, “We have announced the extension of our association with JSW Group as the title sponsor for the next three years. We have also brought GMR as our new sponsor while extending our association with APL Apollo and Jio for this edition.”
He said that Delhi Capitals is looking at growth of over 35 per cent in terms of sponsorship revenues compared to the previous season. Delhi Capitals has been busy off the pitch, sewing up a one-year partnership with OctaFX, which is now the team’s Official Trading Partner. It has also collaborated with many youth-centric brands. “Brands like Cornitos and EVOLUT have younger audience engagement and hence they are perfect sponsors for the team,” Bisht added.
Most IPL franchise teams are expecting to register a growth of over 35-40 per cent in sponsorship revenues compared to the last season. This should partly offset the revenue loss due to the lack of gate receipts. Some like Rajasthan Royals had with far-sightedness set up new revenue streams like online sports marketing courses and are now exploring other avenues too.
Jake Lush McCrum, COO, Rajasthan Royals said, “We as a franchise are also looking at how we expand into new revenue streams, which can provide additional value to our fans. One of these, which has been really successful, has been our online education business, which is preparing for expansion in the coming months with new courses and more partners.”
“Our app was extremely successful last year and had an 80 per cent engagement rate level around certain gamification features. This is exciting for both us and our partners, as it can enable targeted promotion for their brands to the consumers they want to attract,” he added.