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Non-cricket boosts sports spending

News, 08 April 2016

NEW DELHI: Sports other than cricket are driving the growth of sports sponsorship in India, which now accounts for more than 10% of all advertising expenditure, according to a new report.

In Sporting Nation in the Making, produced by ESP Properties and SportzPower, the value of the sports sponsorship market – including ground sponsorship, team sponsorship and franchise fees, player endorsements and on air (but not such things as gate receipts, player fees, prize money, merchandising and subscriptions) – was put at Rs 51, 854m ($798m) in 2015, which represented 12.3% growth on the previous year.

On air accounted for just over half the total (52%), with team sponsorship and franchise fees taking a further 20.2%, ground sponsorship 19.9% and player endorsements 8.0%.

The fastest-growing area was on-ground sponsorship, which increased 29.6%, from Rs 7,948m in 2014 to Rs 10,305m in 2015. Cricket continues to account for over half the spending here but its share has dropped seven percentage points to 51.4% as other sports have attracted Indian fans.

The most significant of these is football, where on-ground sponsorship almost doubled (+91.6%) to Rs 1,140m in 2015. Marathons also recorded increased spending but the surprise package was kabbadi, where on-ground sponsorship grew fourfold, to Rs 480m, overtaking tennis.

The interest in other sports also meant that the endorsements industry grew significantly, by 27%, as brands signed up a range of athletes across different disciplines. In fact, endorsements from other sports rose by 90%, from Rs 221m to Rs 420m.

Further evidence of the growing importance of non-cricket sports came in the figures for team sponsorship, where these now account for 38.9% of spending, up from 29.5% in 2014. Overall spending here was up 13%, despite cricket team sponsorship seeing marginal 1.9% drop; team sponsorship in other sports jumped 48.8% to Rs 2,170m.

"This is what drove the market forward at a time when cricket was not pulling its weight sufficiently," the report said.

Data sourced from ESP Properties, SportzPower, afaqs!; additional content by Warc staff