PodcastsSports Business Updates

SBU Ep5 featuring PUMA India x RCB, ISL viewership numbers and other sports business news

The nexus between Sports and Business.

PUMA India re-enter Indian Premier League merchandising with a partnership with Royal Challengers Bangalore 

Our first update is about PUMA signs a partnership with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

PUMA has signed a 3 year partnership with Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore and aims to accelerate the merchandising market’s growth in India.

Puma will have exclusive retailing rights to RCB’s take down and replica jerseys, adding pan-India merchandise reach for the franchise across retail and e-commerce channels. The collection will also include a fanwear range of polo tees, shorts, pants, flip flops and caps.

This marks Puma’s rentry in Indian Premier League.

But why have Puma decided to renter the Indian Premier League when other brands have decided to exit?

According to Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, Puma India, The team merchandising market in India is pretty restricted and thats the gap Puma India has spotted and are expecting to fill and strongly believe that their partnership with one of India’s most followed brand RCB can match the 50-60 Crore in their first year of association itself! That is a very ambitious target but with Puma’s promotion plan which includes merchandise through its social media platforms, website, exclusive stores, multi-brand channels, large format stores like Lifestyle and Shoppers Stop and even in RCB Bar and Café.

Puma India also are looking at benefits beyond sales. Besides the commercial opportunity, PUMA are looking to grow the nascent sports merchandise sector in India and build a culture of sports by creating emotional connect between fans and teams and in this case Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Indian Super League Season 7 posts interesting viewership numbers

Our Second update is Indian Super League’s impressive viewership numbers.

The Indian Super League was the first Live sports league in India during the COVID-19 lockdown and it started with a bang when it registered 3.42 billion viewing minutes in the first week of the televised event. The opening game clocked in a 0.96 TVR while the time spent per viewer (TSV) for the entire season shot to 28 mins (16% growth over season 6). It also registered a spike of 16% on viewership at an all-India level, with an 18% growth in Hindi speaking markets. 

As far as the chatter on social media is concerned, in comparison to the sixth edition, the latest season had created quite a buzz. ISL social chatter has registered a 137% growth over Hero ISL 6. Google search index saw a growth of 87% over the last season.

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comScore highlights digital media consumption trends in India’s state clusters

Our third update is about the recently conducted ‘State-level clusters in India’ report by Comscore. This is a report highlighting digital consumption in India and the findings are very insightful for international sports entities who are looking to enter India.

And, here are the top four takeaways from the report:

  • India’s digital population is estimated to be 468 million. India is second to China who has a digital population of 901 million.
  • The top 5 clusters in India are Maharashtra/Goa (66.4M), Uttar Pradesh (48.58M), West Bengal/Sikkim/Odisha (43.93M), Andhra Pradesh/Telangana (41M) and Tamil Nadu/Pondicherry (39M). – Clusters 1 and 3 – Mumbai/Goa and West Bengal etc are huge sports markets.
  • Together these 5 clusters contribute 51% of total India’s digital population.
  • With 66.44 Million unique visitors from Maharashtra and Goa, this cluster contributes 14% of total India digital population

Also, the Top 5 publishers in these clusters are: Google, Facebook, Amazon Sites, Times Internet sites and shopping giants Flipkart.  

How big is India’s sports betting market?

Our fourth update is about the size of India’s sports betting market

In a recent report by the International Center for Sports Safety, it was revealed that:

  • There are an estimated 183 million bettors in India.
  • 48% of the mature males in that category bet on sports at least once a month.
  • The total turnover of the market is $130 million USD.
  • 80% plus of the bets are placed on Cricket.

These are some mind boggling numbers for a country where legal betting is only allowed on horse racing!

With such tremendous potential to increase incomes through taxes on betting, I hope someday the Indian government legalises sports betting and hopefully learns from the USA market where sports betting is now legalised sparking an uptick in sports betting related businesses and opportunities to improve the economy through official betting.

Facebook opts out of UCL and La Liga deals 

Our fifth and final update is about Facebook making a decision to exit  live streaming rights fo

There was a time when Facebook had bid $610 million for IPL live streaming rights but they were beaten by a consolidated bid by Star Sports. Since that failed bid Facebook looked at focusing on Football/soccer media rights deals and successfully onboarded deals with La Liga in India and UEFA Champions League in Latin America. 

It is now reported that Facebook has decided not to renew its Football media rights deals for the Uefa Champions League in Latin America and Spain’s La Liga in India, according to Rob Shaw, the company’s director of sports league and media partnerships.

Both contracts, which were signed in 2018, are due to expire this year, and the decision not to renew deals was because Facebook believes traditional media rights deals ‘aren’t compatible with its video business model.

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Nilesh Deshmukh
I am passionate about sports and passionate about marketing. As a sports marketer, I have built significant expertise in successfully delivering medium to long term digital marketing strategy for global sports entities and brands like Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC, Major League Baseball, Formula E, and AELTC, etc to engage with their fans in India. I am currently based in London and lead India business at Engage Digital Partners.