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Global cricket sponsorship hits US$405 million

Global cricket sponsorship hits US$405 million
November 21, 2013

As the 2013/14 Ashes series commences, a new report from Sponsorship Today shows that global cricket sponsorship is now worth US$405 million a year.

The research, which analysed data from 788 deals from all of the major cricket playing nations, found that India accounted for US$165 million of spend, international events US$68 million, England US$66 million and Australia US$57 million.

Highlighting the significance of the Indian Premier League (IPL), report editor Simon Rines explained "the growth in cricket sponsorship has come about mainly because of the introduction of the Twenty20 format in general and the IPL in particular.

"Although the BCCI, the governing body in India, has major deals for its national team, it is the IPL that has really driven the growth in sponsorship revenue in the country.

"As the IPL rights holder, the BCCI has sold title sponsorship to Pepsi for US$14 million a year as well as having major deals with Vodafone and Yes Bank. However, it is the value that the IPL team franchises offer sponsors that has driven the market. Those competing teams in India are estimated to generate more than $70 million per series from sponsors and the amounts are growing."

The analysis showed that the financial service sector is the biggest backer of cricket, spending US$66.5 million on rights, followed by telecommunications on US$60 million and soft drinks on US$36 million.

Developing nations are also showing a more mature sponsorship profile, with Rines adding "one of the interesting findings is that the profile of industries sponsoring in developing countries is, in many respects, more healthy for the sport than in developed countries.

"In England, Australia and New Zealand, for example, a large proportion of spend comes from banks, brewers and car manufacturers. In the developing countries, the major spenders include telecommunications and media companies. It suggests that in England and Australia in particular, cricket would do well to get more sponsorship from companies in more exciting sectors that have the ability to communicate positive messages about the sport. Banks can do this to an extent, but having so many does create a slightly dull profile. Alcohol sponsors can't connect with fans fully due to restrictions on marketing to young audiences."

The report welcomes the new deal between the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Waitrose as a progressive development in terms of image, deal size (US$15 million a year) and the potential for the supermarket group to communicate positive messages about cricket to fans.

However, it was also found that there is a problem in English cricket with sponsorship 'clutter'.

Rines continues "the counties have so many sponsors that it makes it difficult for many to stand out.

"The churn rate for smaller sponsorships in particular is very high, which helps neither the sponsor nor the rights holder. A more professional strategy for managing commercial assets would certainly help the game to develop at grass roots level. "

The report found that cricket sponsorship fees are generally holding up across the sport despite the bad publicity that cricket has endured, but the overall picture is patchy.

As Rines states "if you look at most of the major cricketing nations, there has been at least one major scandal. Negative issues have included fraud, corruption, spot fixing, doping, poor administration or links to organised crime and in Pakistan cricket has been badly affected by terrorism. This is not an ideal environment for sponsorship and cricket administrators really need to get on top of governance of the game. In South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan, the commercial environment is very difficult at the moment with major sponsorship fees generally falling in the past few years. Even the BCCI has had difficulty with its national team rights.

Rines concludes "this is now a crucial period for the sport. Globally Twenty20 cricket has lost some of its early sparkle, many of the sports' big stars and characters have retired and the calendar is packed with competitions, many of which don't capture the imagination of the fans. The sport faces a lot of challenges in the coming years. Globally, sports sponsorship spend is still growing at a fast pace - but cricket cannot take it for granted that it can command such increases."

For more information go to www.imrpublications.com/overview.aspx?sid=8&rid=1

Images: Star players in the Indian Premier League (top), the Boxing Day Test at the MCG (middle) and Pepsi sponsorship of the Indian Premier League (below).

4th November 2013 - MCG BOXING DAY SELL OUT SETS UP POSSIBLE WORLD RECORD

15th October 2013 - CRICKET AUSTRALIA CRITICISED FOR REJECTING ANTI-ALCOHOL ADVERTISING IN DOMESTIC ONE-DAY COMPETITION

9th August 2013 - NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS $9 BILLION OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPORTS FIRMS

18th December 2012 - INTERNATIONAL SPORT FEDERATIONS GENERATE $2 BILLION IN SPONSORSHIP

27th November 2012 - BCCI DOUBLES VALUE OF INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE SPONSORSHIP WITH PEPSI DEAL 

27th September 2012 - PROFITS DOUBLE IN INDIAN CRICKET


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