The Indian Premier League has gained momentum like never before, with the power play league attracting ever more fans, high profile investment and international prestige. The hotly anticipated annual 20-20 cricket tournament has seen its business value grow to an all-time high of US$5.7 billion, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy.
The IPL naturally sees international brands vying for a slice of the pie. Chinese, American and Indian mega brands representing sectors ranging from IT services, Telecoms, Online Payments, Gaming, FMCG. IPL is doing what La Liga and the English Premiere League have accomplished in the football space as it sees the best players from the cricketing world putting their best foot forward to be a part of this extravaganza.
Auctions looming ahead of 13th edition
Not only is it action packed and thoroughly entertaining, IPL is a serious gamechanger for aspiring cricketers. With the auctions for the 13th edition of the IPL set to take place on 19 December in Kolkata, it is hotly anticipated that there will be some serious rethinking by the team owners, some of them blooded with deep analytics and ground level understanding of emerging players. This upcoming auction won’t guarantee team selection for many of the senior players, some pushing 35+ years.
Team owners are supported by the best names in global coaching and mentoring staff which sees the IPL now moving into a stage where teams can dictate their own sponsorship revenues, team performances and fan engagement: all three most important cogs towards superior brand value creation.
Savio D’Souza, Director of Brand Finance, commented:
“Now into its 13th edition, IPL is a brand that continues to deliver for its fans, investors and cricketing prowess. This year’s winning margin could not have been more dramatic with the Mumbai Indians beating the Chennai Super Kings by just 1 run!
This year’s tournament ran up over 330 billion minutes of broadcasting time and logged 300 million viewers into the streaming service over a span of 44 days. The IPL continues to exceed expectations for its players, franchisees, team sponsors, and give a boost to the Indian economy.
Its popularity has prompted a strong desire from other cricketing boards to replicate the success such as the England and Wales Cricket Board’s newly announced The Hundred.”
Top of the charts
For the purposes of the valuation, the IPL has been treated as a single commercial entity, encompassing business values of all its parts. The income that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the franchises will achieve and the expenditure that each will incur was aggregated. All cross-charged income and expenditure has been ignored. In addition, the Brand Finance IPL 2019 report ranks the most valuable IPL franchise brands.
Team growth over past 10 years
Brand Finance has calculated the brand value of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and each of its teams annually since 2009. The remarkable growth in brand value over the past 10 years seen by Chennai Super Kings (up 90% from US$39 million in 2009) is a real testament to the popularity of the players, team, management and ability to overcome difficulties along the way. In contrast, Rajasthan Royals have seen just 9% growth in brand value having fluctuated over the past 10 years (valued at in US$40 million in 2009) and have some catching up to do if they want to race up the rankings.
IPL behind its sporting compatriots
Over the past 12 years, the IPL has firmly made its mark on the cricketing world and resonated far beyond the already huge Indian cricket fan base. When the brand value of the top 5 teams is added up across other popular sporting leagues such as the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga, Bundesliga of Germany, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1, it seems that the IPL still has a long way to go.
The top 5 teams of the IPL have a combined brand value of $321mn which pales in comparison to the top 5 teams in the English Premier league at $6.5bn and La Liga at $4.2bn.
Benefitting from a long heritage and reputation forged over years are the two most popular sporting leagues: the English Premier League (EPL) and La Liga in Spain. Founded 27 years ago, the English Premier League is the top level of the English football league system and one of the highest valued sporting leagues with a brand value of US$6.4 billion.
Following slightly behind the EPL and valued at US$4.2 billion is Spain’s 90-year-old La Liga football league, the men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system with footballing legends like Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique dominating the pitch. Its impressive brand value reaffirms just how a long-standing reputation carved over almost a century has boosted the tournament.
Formula 1 vs IPL
The IPL makes an interesting comparison to Formula 1, which is also popular amongst Indian viewers. It was recently taken over by Liberty Media Corporation at a business value of US$8 billion, which is not too far ahead of IPL’s US$5.7bn valuation. Speeding through the rankings of popularity, Formula 1 sees 20 drivers on 10 teams and lucrative sponsorship deals to boot, making it one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950. Given that IPL’s business value has grown by 11% every year since 2009, there is a high likelihood that it can overtake Formula 1 in a matter of years and clock in a podium finish.
CSK crowned most valuable IPL brand
CSK showed the true power of fans in each match. Called a team of old war-horses, Chennai Super Kings showed that it took tactful strategy, a sense of calm and sheer determination to be the toughest team to beat in the competition. Losing the finals with the narrowest of margins – just 1 run, the cricketing fans didn’t know that it was a harbinger of nail biting finishes one witnessed in the World Cup finals! With a brand value of US$75 million, Chennai Super Kings have been ranked as the most valuable IPL franchise brand this year. CSK tops the Brand Finance IPL league table for the fourth time but loses the crown for being the highest IPL cup winner to Mumbai Indians this year.
Mumbai Indians a formidable brand to beat
Mumbai Indians embodies what IPL is all about: a stellar multi-national coaching line up, admirable team spirit, tough resilient attitude and the willingness of multiple talented players who are eager to face any challenge. With a fan appeal cutting across the country, MI created an aura around themselves whether at home or away. MI has proven the founders of IPL right by contributing maximum current and upcoming players for national duty in all formats of the game. MI is formidable in the way it manages its sponsors, ensuring the right blend of charitable activities and media interactions. This can be seen in the way in which MC owners sponsored an exclusive match where they invited children from special schools to fill up the Mumbai stadium for an exclusive MI match. All activities are harmonised in such a manner that the MI team gels like a bunch of players doing something larger than just playing cricket.
KKR slipping quickly
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) which topped the charts for two years is currently the slowest growing brand by Brand Value among the top teams – 7% - indicating a loss of momentum. KKR which always boasted of a formidable team spirit became a two-man army through the tournament and fans were confused on the attitude the team displayed. KKR could not live up to its potential through the season, losing its fan base even in its home base Kolkata. KKR’s brand is sustained by a stable governance and continued support from its brand sponsors. Andre Russell from the West Indies, and young Indian star Shubman Gill kept the KKR on the roll.
Fastest-growing Delhi Capitals strong contender
Growing faster than any other IPL franchise brand, Delhi Capitals (up 25% to US$54 million) created a brand of its own during the season, as such being known as fearless cricketers. In 2019, DC saw their brand value increase by their sheer grit, determination and fine cricketing prowess. With young captain Shreyas Iyer and a formidable bowling line up led by South African Kagiso Rabada, DC showed what a huge difference team spirit and smart thinking can make to results. After a change of hands in the recent past, DC now have stable management, new recruits, and a reliable support team, which should be useful building blocks to challenge the top two teams in next year’s tournament.
As the youngest franchise amongst the eight teams, Sunrisers Hyderabad have seen solid growth in brand value, continuing to hold a spot among the top four over the last two years. International stars like David Warner and Kane Williamson have boosted the popularity of the brand amongst fans. Right from the start of the season, Sunrisers Hyderabad were in the spotlight as the formerly banned Australian cricketer David Warner made a sensational comeback, becoming the highest run scorer in IPL 2019 after missing the tournament last year following the ball-tampering scandal. Despite the team’s inconsistent performance in the later part of the season, David Warner together with Jonny Bairstow, gave Sunrisers Hyderabad a confident start which certainly helped to raise the hopes of the fanbase.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Regardless of its failure on the field, a loyal fan following, tremendous fan engagement and significant social media presence has kept the momentum going for Royal Challengers Bangalore making it a very strong brand with a brand rating of AA. Online popularity of the fan favourites Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers have been making up for the lack of team performance on field. During the early stages of the season, Royal Challengers Bangalore struggled with six straight losses, however at the later stages, through crucial contributions from star players the team ranked as the fifth among the eight teams. Yet to win the title, the key challenge for Royal Challengers Bangalore would be to focus on consistency in performance to avoid deterioration of brand value in future.
With their return last season after the two-year ban, Rajasthan Royals is still struggling to revive their former glory as title winners. Being inconsistent on the field in terms of player’s performance as well as the history of controversies surrounding the team has had a major impact on the brands image. This season, The Royals started off under the same leadership of Ajinkya Rahane, however, things didn’t go as well as expected, failing to shine through performance. Though few of the individual team member performances stood out, Rajasthan Royal failed to shine as a team.
Kings 11 Punjab
Kings 11 Punjab continues to hold their spot at the bottom of the table for the third consecutive year. Led by Ravichandran Ashwin the team faced a lot of criticism as they grappled with poor team selection, resource utilization and the Mankading incident, which created backlash in the cricketing world. Big players on the team such as Chris Gayle, K.L.Rahul and R.Ashwin have kept fans engaged throughout the season. Their lack of performance throughout the IPL reign has been one of squandered opportunities hindering a faster brand value growth.
Note to Editors
Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands. The most valuable IPL brands are included in the Brand Finance IPL 2019 report.
Brand value is equal to a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand. Brand strength is used to determine what proportion of a business’s revenue is contributed by the brand.
Additional insights, more information about the methodology as well as definitions of key terms is available in the Brand Finance IPL 2019 report.
Data compiled for the Brand Finance league tables and reports are provided for the benefit of the media and are not to be used for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.