Global media investment company GroupM's entertainment and sports division, ESP Properties released the 2020 report on Indian sports sponsorship. Sports sponsorship in India grew a massive 17% to over ₹9,000 crores in 2019. As expected, cricket was the major contributor to the sports sponsorship in India.
A major chunk of this growth came from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and the Indian Premier League (IPL). In 2019, the value was ₹7,762 crores. On-ground sponsorship grew 25% and crossed Rs 2,000 crore in a year for the first time.
Digital sponsorship showed a massive hike of 84% from ₹475 crores to ₹875 crores. Television spends also witnessed growth as it rose from ₹3,779 crores to ₹4,272 crores. Print grew from ₹178 crores to ₹85 crores. Total media spends were ₹5,232 crores in 2019, up from ₹4,432 crores in 2018.
The endorsement industry grew 11% and was dominated by cricketers. In 2019, 70 new brand endorsement deals took place, of which 50 were for cricketers. While 85% of total brand endorsements came from cricketers, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni pulled in 63% of the total. Overall, 329 endorsement deals were signed in total, out of which 228 were for cricketers.
Outside cricket, the endorsements were dominated by women athletes. P. V. Sindhu, the current world badminton champion, was the leading athlete in 2019 in terms of brand endorsements as she added four brands to her name. The most notable among them is the tie-up with Visa Inc. that made her the first Indian athlete to endorse the financial services brand.
Pugilist M. C. Mary Kom was another eminent name on the list of brand endorsers, adding four brands in 2019. Track and field star Hima Das and Olympic medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik too had new brands signing up for them. Overall, women athletes added 11 new brands in 2019 and took the total to 45.