PLAYING WITH A STRAIGHT BAT - A Concise Report on brand values in the Indian Premier League

Categories: Industry/Sector Analysis, Fundamental Analysis, Alternative Assets, Corporate Finance

Country or region: India

Duff & Phelps has published the third edition of our annual* study of Brand Values in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The report ranks the franchise brand values for six teams in the IPL based upon a relief from royalty analysis coupled with an assessment of six other factors; including management strength and on-field performance, marketing strategy, celebrity influence and marquee players, geographical location, governance and transparency and social media engagement. Key findings include: Total value of the IPL has grown by 19% over the last five quarters to reach US$ 4.2 billion. Mumbai Indians had the highest brand value in the IPL Royal Challengers Bangalore were the biggest gainers with brand value increasing by 31%, while Kings XI Punjab were the biggest losers.

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This IPL season has drawn attention for all the right reasons with a relatively controversy-free tournament, coupled with some scintillating on-field performances which have brought the spotlight back to the game. Over the years, we have seen multiple instances of scandals surrounding the premier sporting event of the country, but in almost every single year, the IPL has come out stronger and more popular than before. However, this year the added bonus and a major boost to the Brand IPL has been a controversy-free IPL season. Also, the IPL Fan Parks initiative, which saw footfalls of 15,000 to 20,000 spectators every weekend, was a huge hit in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The other initiatives such as Twitter match hashtag trends, IPL Selfie trends, player battles and the Facebook “Support Your Team” initiative also ensured that the fans were hooked on the IPL. Before the start of the tournament, there were apprehensions about how Brand IPL would survive the tumultuous prior 12 to 15 months which included the suspension of two popular franchisees - Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) for two seasons as well as Pepsi terminating its association with IPL. On the contrary, Brand IPL not only came out of these controversies relatively unscathed but also surged forward to prove that it is the most successful cricketing league in the world and one of the premier sporting events across the globe. The Vivo title sponsorship deal was 26% higher than the Pepsi deal. Sony completely sold out its ad slots for the IPL season even before the first ball of the tournament was bowled (despite hiking ad rates by nearly 15%). These along with the recent news of Hotstar’s viewership touching 100 million (a jump of nearly 45% from the previous season), suggest that Brand IPL’s popularity is not only intact but is in fact increasing. The above evidence is also reflected in our valuation analysis. The value of Brand IPL has increased to US$ 4.2 billion from US$ 3.5 billion, even though the US$-INR currency has depreciated by nearly 10%. For our analysis this year, we did not value Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) or Gujarat Lions (GL) due to lack of visibility on their association with IPL beyond IPL Season 10 when CSK and RR are expected to come back after serving their suspensions. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were the biggest gainers in percentage terms with a 31% increase in their brand value over last year’s value. SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) also gained nearly 17% value while Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) lost nearly 24% and 10%, respectively, of their last year’s brand value. As an aside, we are happy to announce that following the global merger of American Appraisal with Duff & Phelps, we have fully transitioned our brand to Duff & Phelps from American Appraisal in India.

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