Dubai: The 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), which will commence on March 29, will be at the pink of health - if it’s brand value is anything to go by. A survey of Brand Finance, a leading independent brand valuation consultancy, has pegged the value of the pioneering T20 franchise league at an all-time high of $5.7 billion.
“The 2019 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,’’ Savio D’ Souza, Director of Brand Finance, said in their findings released in late December.
The IPL continues to exceed expectations for its players, franchisees, team sponsors
According to followers of IPL fortunes over the years, the league has been able to tide over the negative publicity which gripped it a number of times in the wake of the financial misappropriation charges against it’s founder-chairman Lalit Modi and then again the match-fixing allegations in 2013-14.
However, the two-month event still has some catching up to do with a world-class product such as football's English Premier League - which was their original inspiration - or La Liga in Spain. The top top five teams of the IPL have a combined brand value of $321 million, which pales in comparison with the top five teams in the Premier League at $6.5 billion or the Spanish League at $4.2 billion.
The fascinating aspect of the league, however, is that it’s overall valuation ($5.7 billion) is not too far off from the English Premier League at $6.4 billion. ‘‘Both the Premiership and La Liga have benefitted from a long heritage and reputation forged over the years, while the IPL will just be stepping into its 13th year in 2020,’’ the Brand Finance study argued.
During an interview with Gulf News sometime back, Mohit Burman, co-owner of Kings XI Punjab had cited the two-month duration of the league as ‘‘too short” a time for proper brand building while suggesting that the auction policy also merits a rethink. “As per the current auction rules where a team can contract a player for three years, the profile of stars in each team changes frequently to build a loyalty base. In any case, it takes anything between a period of five to 10 years to create the kind of following for merchandising to really prosper,” Burman had observed on that occasion.
Chennai Super Kings, who had been one of the most consistent achievers in the Indian Premier League so far, proved that on-field performance does reflect on the brand value of the franchises as they are on top of the table among the eight franchises. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led three-time champions have seen their value break through the $75 million mark for the first time - in what has been a 90 per cent growth from a modest $39 million in 2009 in the second year of the league.
The widely supported yellow shirts are followed by Kolkata Knight Riders at $66.5 million and Mumbai Indians at $65.7 million in second and third positions, respectively. Mumbai, who won a cliffhanger against Chennai by one run to win their fourth title under Rohit Sharma last year, have seen a 24 per cent rise in brand value over the last few years.
Interestingly, Delhi Capitals - led by young captain Shreyas Iyer - showed maximum growth of 25 per cent over the last season at $54 million. Kolkata Knight Riders, which topped the charts for two years, indicated a loss of momentum at only seven per cent last year.