Sports sponsorship in India grew by 14.1% in 2017, to INR 7,300 crore ($1106n), according to GroupM's entertainment and sports arm ESPproperties and SportzPower (a sports business news company).
It grew from the from INR 6,400 crore ($941n) garnered in 2016, according to the research.
Meanwhile, overall ad spend for the media sector registered in the year stood at INR 61,263 cr ($9282m). Despite GST and demonetisation, with ad spending in India touching INR 61,263 cr ($9282m) in 2017, sports sponsorship made up 11.9% of the overall advertising pie, a step up from the 11.5% market share registered in 2016.
The report further highlighted the growth in team sponsorship, which has grown by 17.1%. Mobile brand Oppo secured team India Sponsorship at INR 1079 cr (April 2017 to March 2022), of which its 117% incremental value from a previous deal resulted in a 20.6% growth in cricket sponsorship overall. Meanwhile, non-cricketing sports like football team sponsorship too has grown by 41.4%.
Indian Super League (ISL) team sponsorship grew by 22% as the number of matches has gone up. Franchise fee too has grown by 24.8%.
Cricket endorsement has further grown by 15.5% with Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli leading from the front with 19 brands and 150+ crore worth of endorsement value. PV Sindhu lead the non-cricket endorsement space with 11 brands and over 30 crore worth of endorsement value.
Meanwhile, some Indian brands looked beyond Indian athletes. Kanakia Spaces signed up with Zinedine Zidane and MRF, Mont Blanc and Maruti signed AB De Villiers.
Vinit Karnik, business head, ESP Properties, said: “2017 was truly the ‘big’ year for the business of sports. With Pro Kabaddi League emerging as the second-most popular league in India after the Indian Premier League, and the India edition of U-17 Football World Cup creating history in terms of audience attendance, sports sponsorship enjoyed a bull run.
Thomas Abraham, co-founder, SportzPower, said: “With the 2017 momentum and the economy also looking up and set to grow at 7.3% in 2018-19, sports is looking at an even bigger year. As the industry anticipates clarity on the structure of club football in India, among the new leagues on the horizon, volleyball seems the most promising.
“In the media firmament, while new revenue benchmarks are expected from television, it will be traction in the digital arena that provides real pointers to where the industry is going over the next few years.”