Every season of the Indian Premier League is a hit even before the first ball has been bowled. People of all ages eagerly wait for the tournament to begin every single summer. The familiar jingle, the advertisements, IPL is inescapable during summers. The T20 domestic franchise launched a decade ago has spawned a host of imitators worldwide and also given substantial impetus to betting businesses. The games are so competitive that even the biggest stadiums in the country get jam-packed during the IPL season. Whether it’s a small wager with your friends or odds and betting on IPL at 10cric, it’s because of IPL that industries like these are thriving.
It’s no new news that cricket is more than just a pastime in India. Some people even call it their religion! Therefore, IPL’s combination of young and new, domestic and international players is a winning formula bound to be successful with its audiences.
The Indian Premier League provides a solid and lucrative opportunity for broadcasters and sponsors to fatten their wallets. As Business Insider puts it, “the IPL’s business masterstroke is that it created an amazing synergy with industry and commerce. It was a way of allowing corporate India into Indian cricket’s dressing rooms.” Sponsors are by far the most rigid and explicit way of money-making in the tournament. Right from jerseys of the players to hats of umpires, everything has a price tag. For instance, leading smartphone maker Gionee has always been connected to Kolkata Knight Riders as their prime sponsor. Apart from Gionee, you will find tonnes of other brands very visibly associated with IPL. Pepsi, for example, was so prominently connected with IPL that the tournament was very literally called the Pepsi IPL! Every year, we see the title sponsor of IPL changing. For the year 2017, the title sponsor has been Vivo. A source reports that Vivo pays some hundred crores, per season as per the contract. However, the majority of this share goes to BCCI.
Just like any sports event throughout the world, the Indian Premier League is also dependent on ticket sales. But the craze for cricket in India is so magnanimous that IPL has always been warmly welcomed by fans. Almost 60% of the matches in IPL have a full house. The ticket prices are fixed by team owners. A small portion of tickets are offered to sponsors and the BCCI, the rest goes into the team’s wallet. Fun fact, the home team gets to keep a share of the ticket sales. That is the reason each team has 7 home games. For instance, if Mumbai Indians play at Wankhede with a full house, they get a share of the money made.
As mentioned before, broadcasters play a big role in association with IPL. Sony India has been the official media sponsor of IPL for a decade. Sony takes a contract from BCCI for a certain sum, of which, a certain sum of money is given to each team based on the TRP Ratings by BCCI. Sony TV in return earns money in the form of advertisements. For a 10 second slot of an advertisement, companies shell out money in lakhs. However online, Star has partnered with IPL and streams the matches with 5-minute delay through apps.
Keeping aside the technicalities for a bit, let’s talk about the glitz and glamour of the Indian Premier League. It is the simple rule of thumb that every business needs to establish a brand so that their target audiences can recognize and be interested in the business venture. The association of superstars like Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Preity Zinta immediately boosts the brand value of the team and attracts sponsors. For example, Shah Rukh Khan endorses over 20 brands, and all these brands act as sponsors for his IPL team – Kolkata Knight Riders. Not only stars from Bollywood but players like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni also act as attractive bait for sponsors. For enticing sponsors and creating a brand value for itself, a team needs consistent success, for that it needs to win games, for that it needs good players who are bought for exorbitant amounts.
The Indian Premier League offers a handsome amount as prize money to the winners and runners up. In 2015, the prize money for the winning team was 40 crores.
It’s easy to dismiss the profit made by teams from selling merchandise but in 2014 The Times of India reported that the sports gear business market growth in the country is 100% annually and the value is projected to be approximately $30 million. These numbers must have grown exponentially since then.
Between the craze and the capitalism of our beloved Indian Premier League let’s recall what Lalit Modi, the founder of the tournament said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph:
“The IPL is here to stay.