Ahead of the IPL 2021, JSW and GMR co-owned Delhi Capitals announced that this year, the team has secured its highest ever sponsorship revenue owing to a record 25 partners. The team saw a significant 50% jump in revenues from 2020.
With the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League being played behind closed doors for the first time, many franchises saw a dip in their brand values and revenues, due to loss of in-gate receipts as well as reduced sponsorship deals. The IPL brand value itself fell by 3.6%. However, according to financial consultancy firm Duff & Phelps, Delhi Capitals witnessed the least drop in brand value among all teams, at a negligible 1%. Moreover, in 2020 while many sports brands across the globe struggled to stay commercially viable due to the impact of the pandemic, Delhi Capitals managed to retain and exceed its 2019 sponsorship revenue.
In 2021, the Delhi-based franchise has onboarded a record 25 partners, 9 more than the previous year. The team’s diverse profile of brands includes home-grown corporates such as JSW, GMR and JIO along with international MNCs including LG, Optimum Nutrition, Colgate and Nissin. The team, which is replete with promising young talents of Indian cricket, has also attracted many youth-centric brands such as Acko, Phone Pe, MX Taka Tak, and Wrogn Active. Most significantly, some of the team’s partners are new entrants who have chosen Delhi Capitals as their launchpad into the IPL sponsorship world including Cornitos, Evolut and OctaFX.
The franchise has also secured valuable licensing associations across apparel, fanwear, credit cards and audio products, driving greater fan engagement and penetration to its pan India fanbase.
One of the major reasons behind the team’s recent commercial success is its adaptation to the shift in global sports sponsorships where traditional sponsor entitlements like tickets, match-day experiences and in-stadia branding rapidly lost value. In response, Delhi Capitals quickly pivoted focus to maximising the potential of their digital content and social media, to add value to their partners. The upward trajectory of the team’s digital strategy is evident by the record 450 million views garnered on its video content in 2020. Last year, the franchise also witnessed a follower growth of 32% on Facebook and Instagram, the highest among all teams. Furthermore, innovative collaborations with international digital consultants like Horizm, which use AI for monetising and managing social media inventory, has helped the franchise secure more digital-savvy brands through content and cause-led marketing.
One such content-driven association is the team’s landmark, digital deal with global trading company OctaFX which sees the brand exclusively sponsor DCTV, the franchise’s fan-favourite digital video content asset.
Apart from its strong digital footing, Delhi Capitals’ commercial appeal is further enhanced by its impressive on-field performance, with the 2020 runners-up being tipped as serious title contenders for the IPL 2021.
Vinod Bisht, CEO of Delhi Capitals, said, “Delhi Capitals is committed towards achieving greater heights, not only on the field but also off it. In a time where global sports brands continue to deal with commercial uncertainties, our forward-looking marketing strategy has helped us capitalise on emerging trends and secure our highest ever sponsorship revenue till date. The team’s talented squad, along with our strong connect with our fans has made our franchise an ideal avenue for brands. We are thankful to all our partners for their support for our maiden title-hunt.”