Mumbai Indians emerged as the only IPL franchise which recorded a 7% brand value increase to $70.3 million, claiming the title of most valuable team.
Held amidst raging Covid-19 pandemic, T20 tourney Indian Premier League (IPL) recorded a 22% drop in business value to $4.4 billion, according to the latest report by Brand Finance. With tech brands driving sponsorship for IPLin 2020, sectors ranging from IT services, telecoms, online payments, gaming and FMCG vied for a piece of the first mass viewed tournament after a prolonged pandemic driven lockdown.
“The Indian Premier League roll out of 2020 was surreal and impressive. The IPL ensured continuity of the brand with some bold moves, including: technical collaboration with ECB; venue collaboration with the UAE; a quick response to quarantine and bio bubble disciplines; a change in title sponsorship due to geo-politics; and matches played to empty stadiums with sound effects and signboards mimicking the real game,” Ajimon Francis, managing director, Brand Finance India, said.
Over the past 13 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 European soccer leagues were limping back with caution, IPL took the leap of faith by going ahead with the 2020 tournament and pulled it off with negligible controversy. Interestingly, Mumbai Indians emerged as the only IPL franchise which recorded a 7% brand value increase to $70.3 million, claiming the title of most valuable team.
Mumbai Indian’s digital marketing team maintained high engagement with its core fans during the entire tournament – using various marketing mix variables that were effective and created engaging experiences. Additionally, the team was also the top scorer in the Brand Strength
Index (BSI), with a BSI score of 76.9 out of 100 and a corresponding AA+ brand strength rating. MI were the only team to grow both in brand value and brand strength this year.
Meanwhile, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) registered 21% decline to $59.8 million in brand value in 2020, simultaneously dropping from first to second place in the ranking – a position they have managed to hold on to largely due to the team’s legacy. Following the pattern, CSK’s BSI dipped 8.6% to 62.4 out of 100. This was primarily because the team’s players were rusty, misfired and started doubting themselves early in the tournament, the report stated. The brand waned, missing its massive fan army support in the empty stadiums.
Standing at the third position, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) brand value fell 12% to $58.4 million in 2020. According to the report, KKR’s brand strength has rapidly dropped in the last couple of years with its BSI score falling 8 points this year to 61.3 out of 100. Sunrisers Hyderabad claimed the fourth position while registering a 4% drop in brand value to $57.4 million. The team, however, emerged as the third strongest brand in 2020 with a BSI score of 67.0 out of 100. SRH’s digital marketing team created innovative engagement experiences with the fan clubs.
Maintaining its fifth position, Delhi Capitals (DC) registered a 4% brand value decrease to $52.2 million in 2020. However, DC emerged as the second strongest team in the ranking, with a BSI score of 70.5 and a corresponding AA brand strength rating.