PodcastsSports Business Updates

SBU Ep6: featuring FanCode X Cricket West Indies and other sports business news

The nexus between Sports and Business.

In this week’s episode, I will talk about who is the world’s richest sports team owner, Star Sports crazy list of sponsors for the IPL season, How a local media company is making Mumbai a hyper-local sports capital of India, FanCode’s streaming deal with Cricket West Indies and how a strong digital sponsorship strategy helped IPL franchise Delhi Capitals secure a 50% uplift in sponsorship all this and much more in the first week of IPL 2021….

So, let’s get into the details……

Forbes name Mukesh Ambani is the world’s richest sports team owner in 2021 

Our first update is about the Top 20 richest sports team owners published by Forbes.

Mukesh Ambani was announced as the richest sports team owner in a recently published list of the global Top 20 richest sports team owners by Forbes.

His cricket team, the Mumbai Indians, were Indian Premier League champions for the second year in a row. And off the field, shares of his multinational conglomerate, Reliance Industries, rose more than 85% over the last twelve months—helping more than double Ambani’s net worth to $84.5 billion. Mukesh Ambani’s current net worth is enough to make him the world’s richest sports team owner. On his way to achieving this spectacular feat, he has surpassed last year’s number one, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, for the top spot.

Steve Ballmer, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, has also seen his fortune grow, though not enough to keep up with Mukesh Ambani. His net worth is now $68.7 billion, according to Forbes, up from $52.7 billion a year ago. 

Other notable billionaires like Daniel Gilbert owner of NBA franchise Cleveland Cavaliers, François Pinault & family, owners of Stade Rennais FC and Dietrich Mateschitz, owner of MLS franchise NY Red Bulls and F1 team Red Bull Racing complete the Top 5 Richest Team Owners list.

The 20 richest controlling owners of teams in major sports leagues around the world have a combined net worth of $426 billion, up 60% during what has been a record year for billionaire wealth.

However, Mukesh Ambani may just get bumped down to no.2 if the rumoured sale of NFL franchise LA Chargers to Jeff Bezoz goes through. We will wait and watch. 

Link – Here 

Star Sports onboards 18 sponsors and over 100 advertisers for VIVO IPL 2021

This week’s second update is about Star Sports absolutely smashing it with a massive list of sponsors and advertisers for the coverage of IPL 2021.

Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the VIVO IPL 2021 has roped in 18 sponsors and over 100 advertisers across multiple brand categories for this year’s Indian Premier League season. The 18 sponsors on board for the 2021 edition. The categories of advertisers include Edtech, Fantasy Sports, Beverages, Pay Wallets, Home Décor, Auto, Telecom, Consumer Durables, FMCG, Financial Services amongst others.

The Star Sports ad-sales team have laid out a plethora of innovative advertising solutions for the brands helping them reach out to highly engaged fans with ad formats ranging from targeting on connected TVs, and custom branded content solutions, brands have the unique opportunity to reach a highly engaged and affluent audience through the sharp targeting options available on live sports.

Star Sports during the Indian Premier League season is the hottest platform for brand engagement due to the reach Star Sports gives the brands on television and on their mobile app in over 25+ channels. IPL gives brands a platform bigger than any other genre. Apart from the reach, it is also the impact that one has to be considered. 

We have seen brands like Byjus, Unacademy and others increase subscribers and traffic and even experience a positive shift in brand perception during the Indian Premier League. It’s because ads are consistent over a longer period of time with a high interest rate, brand credibility and consideration is built upon that. 

It will be particularly interesting to see how small brands who have invested in IPL advertising campaigns benefit from the biggest Cricket league in the world.

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Mumbai based Zenlive Media launch a hyper-local sports streaming site gameshot.in

Our Third update is about Zenlive media’s unique hyper localisation of sports through live streaming 

Mumbai based media company Zenlive has launched a very interesting venture called gameshot.in. It’s basically a platform offering a one-stop solution to promote local sports in Mumbai and the surrounding regions by live-streaming it.

Zenlive Media has been very active in bringing local action to the digital platform having live-streamed various sporting tournaments, cultural events, conferences etc. and it is this robust understanding and in-house IP that will form the backbone of Game Shot. Demand for local streaming, especially in the post-pandemic world has been growing and while the market remains extremely distributed and unorganized, through Game Shot, Zenlive Media is aiming to bring about a change.

The platform will be absolutely free for everyone to view local sports content and for clients who want to broadcast their events, the pricing options start from a one camera option at INR 3500 (GBP 35). Game Shot promises an engaging and robust match viewing experience with live scorecard, commentary, player profiles and engagement. 

While Game Shot will be focussed on the Mumbai market to start with, there are already exploratory plans in place to scale the model up the state level and eventually the national level. 

Zenmedia is in a mood to disrupt sports and the hyper-localisation of sports can become beneficial to the growth of sports participation and culture in India. We wish the Zenmedia team all the best with their unique venture.

FanCode land a four-year exclusive deal to broadcast Cricket West Indies matches in India

Our Fourth update is about Cricket West Indies rights with FanCode

Online streaming platform FanCode has acquired exclusive rights to broadcast the West Indies’ home cricket matches and competitions in India. The deal term is 4 years.

What does the deal cover?

  • 150 international and 250 domestic cricket matches.
  • This includes 16 international West Indies men’s series, with India’s next tour in July 2022. 
  • The agreement also covers CG Insurance Super50 Cup matches, West Indies women’s home series and U19 international cricket matches.

FanCode has taken over Sony Pictures Networks as their official partner. Needless to say that this is not West Indies Cricket’s first deal with FanCode. 

In 2020, FanCode acquired the streaming rights for the Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament and they also acquired exclusive rights in India to live stream the West Indies v Ireland cricket series.

Cricket West Indies join FanCode’s rapidly growing International portfolio including  Bangladesh Premier League, the European Cricket Series, Bundesliga, MLB, NFL and NBA which reaches 150 million subscribers in India.

Delhi Capitals secure 50% sponsorship revenue uplift through their robust digital strategy in 2020

Our fifth and final update comes from Delhi Capitals and how their digital strategy helped them achieve an uplift in sponsorship revenue despite COVID-19 last season.

Indian Premier League franchise the Delhi Capitals have secured a 50% increase in sponsorship revenue compared to 2020. 

Delhi Capitals portfolio of sponsors now includes 25 brands across three tiers, a record for the franchise and nine more than in 2020. This comes despite the IPL having been held behind closed doors last year and the 2021 edition set to start behind closed too.

It has been reported by The Economic Times that Delhi Capitals’ total sponsorship revenue for 2021 is close to Rs65 crore ($8.7m).

Financial consultants Duff and Phelps reported that Delhi Capitals have been a lot more stable than the other teams in IPL in terms of brand value despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Their data suggests that the overall brand value of IPL teams dropped by 3.6 per cent in 2020, but Delhi Capitals’ own brand value fell by just 1 per cent, the lowest among the eight franchises which make up the competition.

Since JSW’s take over of the Delhi franchise they have seen a massive uplift in sponsorships and on-ground performance and their campaign in IPL 2021 can further help in making them successful.

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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.