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The Business of Cricket: Understanding Sponsorships, Merchandising, and Media Rights

Business of Cricket: Cricket could just be a means of entertainment for some people. But for most, it’s like a religion, people are crazy about it. Only a true cricket fan can estimate its madness. But besides that, cricket is a multi-billion dollar industry involving various revenue streams including sponsorship, merchandising, and media rights. Through this article today, we will try to understand some selected aspects of it.

Business of Cricket

The Business of Cricket: Understanding Sponsorships, Merchandising, and Media Rights

As we mentioned above, cricket is not just a game but a multi-billion dollar industry, which involves various types of businesses, benefiting both boards and businesses significantly. Through today’s article, we are going to learn about the board’s highest earnings sources, which include Sponsorships, Merchandising, and Media Rights.

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Sponsorships

The biggest source of income in this game of cricket is sponsorship. Whether it’s for the board, a team, or a tournament, all companies that become sponsors of events, teams, or players provide them with a significant amount of money. In these sponsorships, besides sponsoring the team jerseys and players’ bats, companies also become sponsors of entire series or tournaments.

When a company sponsors a tournament or a series, the company’s name comes first. For example, you can see Tata IPL, Vivo IPL, etc. Similarly, in the team’s series, you hear names like Paytm Series, HDFC First Bank Series, etc. Additionally, you must have seen companies like Nike, Adidas, and Puma sponsoring cricket teams.

Merchandising

Just like in the merchandising of any item, related goods are sold. Similarly, in this game of cricket, merchandise related to cricket such as team jerseys, caps, equipment, and other memorabilia are sold. This is a significant source of income for any board or team. The popularity of cricket teams and players boosts their sales.

Cricket boards and teams often have official commercial stores both online and offline to sell merchandise. Here, fans can purchase items to show support for their favorite teams and players. Many times, cricket boards and teams also enter into licensing agreements with third-party manufacturers for the expansion of merchandising, production, and sales of products. You must have definitely purchased jerseys or other items related to your favorite player at some point.

Media Rights

In today’s times, the most lucrative aspect in the game of cricket is media rights. This is the biggest source of revenue for any board or tournament. Yes, indeed, through media rights, boards and tournaments are earning millions nowadays. The rights of media encompass broadcasting rights of cricket matches and tournaments. This includes television broadcasting, digital streaming, and radio rights. Cricket boards and governing bodies sell these rights to media companies for hefty amounts. Bidding for media rights is often very expensive, and estimating the value of these bids in today’s day and age is also quite challenging.

However, their value depends on several factors, including the popularity of teams, the format of the game (Test, One Day International, Twenty20), and the competitiveness of the tournament. For example, the media rights of the IPL are sold at a high price. On the other hand, tournaments like the PSL have relatively lower-priced rights. After acquiring media rights, broadcasters earn revenue by selling advertising slots during matches.

In recent years, the advent of digital platforms and streaming services has significantly increased the number of cricket viewers. OTT platforms such as Hotstar, ESPN+, and Willow TV have secured the rights to stream cricket matches online, making cricket accessible to people from almost every corner of the world today.

Athlete Endorsements and Brand endorsements in Cricket

In this article, we’ve been emphasizing that cricket is much more than just a game for many people. While it is also a considerable business for some. The business of brand endorsements in cricket is also quite substantial. Players and teams earn a lot of money for promoting brands. For example, you can mention the name of Puma, which is a popular brand, and its brand ambassador is Virat Kohli. Similarly, Rohit Sharma, the current captain of the Indian team, is the brand ambassador for Adidas.

Both players are also brand ambassadors for many other companies, and endorsement deals with these companies are worth millions. According to media reports, Virat Kohli’s endorsement deal charges range from 3.5 crores to 7 crores. This is the reason why today almost every second child wants to become a cricketer and players playing cricket live a lavish lifestyle.

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