The ICC T20 World Cup ended with the West Indians lifting the coveted trophy, and as curtains fell on that cricketing spectacle, another sporting event that would be held in India was already making news for various reasons. The Indian Premier League was inaugurated on April 9, bringing cricketers from all around the world on one field. The tournament garners a lot of interest globally and according to the Indian Sports Sponsorship report 2016 by GoupM ESP properties and SportzPower, the IPL was the most talked about tournament in India last year followed by the ISL and PKL on social media.
Twitter is all abuzz with the new season of the IPL. According to the IPLT20 website the #IPL has been tweeted more than 7 million times already. This season eight teams will be competing for the title but none seem to be as popular as the current champions Mumbai Indians on Twitter. Though they lost their opening game to Rising Pune Supergiants, they are still the most talked about team in the IPL on twitter. Mumbai Indian’s also stand second as the most followed team in the IPL on Twitter with 1.3 million followers, while the Shahrukh Khan owned team Kolkata Knight Riders franchise leads the pack with 1.53 million and Royal Challengers Bangalore stands third with1.27 million followers.
Mumbai Indians has won the league twice in 2013 and 2015 and won the Champions league T20 twice in 2011 and 2013. The Reliance Industry owned team was the most expensive team at the time of inception with an investment of reportedly $111.9 million in 2008. Mumbai Indians were also the most watched team on television in the first and last season of the IPL. A total of 239 million viewers tuned in to watch the team play. Reportedly after posting revenues of ₹69 crore and expenditure of ₹85 crore, the first season left the owners with net loss of INR 16 crore and were expected to break even in the 2009 season.
Mumbai Indians has come a long way since then, winning two titles and becoming one of the most sought after teams in the IPL by brands and sponsors. The team has recently announced a global partnership deal with Italian retail clothing company Diesel. The deal will see Diesel launch a limited off-field merchandise for the club. The collaboration, Diesel’s first in the cricket market, will include a limited edition ‘capsule collection’ for Mumbai Indians and is roughly estimated to be around Rs 10 crore per season.
According to the GroupM ESP properties – SportzPower India Sponsorship Report 2016 the overall sports sponsorship grew from $709 million to $798 million in the year 2015. With ad spends in India touching $7656 million in 2015, sports sponsorship makes up 10.4% of the overall advertising pie.
Adidas was the official apparel sponsor for the team from 2008 to 2014. Performax, a brand of Reliance Trend is now the exclusive partner for Mumbai Indians' merchandise. Videocon D2h and Etihad Airways are the principal sponsors for the team while DHFL, Dheeraj Realty and Samsung are the associate sponsors. Mumbai Indians has a long list of official partners that include, Pepsi, Kingfisher, Lyf, Usha, Yatra, Videocon, Jet Airways, Performax, Smaash, Fever 104.8 FM, Radio City, BookMyShow, Ola, Officers Choice Blue Guvera and EFA.
With as many sponsors in the team, the MI jersey is scrambled with brands all over the apparel. Videocon D2h is the current jersey sponsor and the brand will be flashed on the front. Etihad Airways will be seen on the back of the MI jersey, the sleeves of the jersey will sport LYF, EFA, and Dheeraj Realty while the top right corner of the jersey front will flash DHFL, while Usha makes it to the MI team caps and helmets.
With about 50 days of cricketing action lined up during the IPL season and with brands splurging hard cash on the team, Mumbai India’s has more riding on it than just the winners title.