Mumbai Indians (MI) is one of the most successful teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL). With four title wins, they are undoubtedly the most valuable team in IPL to date. Their on-field performance speaks a lot about the team, but the team has dominated the market off-field as well.
They’ve been an eye-catch for the brands and sponsors with deep pockets. Also, being backed by India’s leading industrial group – Reliance, MI has carved an identity for itself as a brand.
MI has always had some of the big names as a part of the team. This itself is sufficient to garner the attention of global brands. Through big sponsorship, brands get access to individual players as well.
Right from Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Pollard, Pandya brothers, Jaspreet Bumrah, Zaheer Khan, Shane bond, Robin Singh to all the support staff, MI has the best people in business across the globe.
The last seven years have been more special, as the four-title wins have come in alternate years -2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.
The team has created a niche for itself in the business domain, setting some astonishing business standards. As per the Duff & Phelps brand valuation report, MI brand value grew 8.5 percent year on year and is currently valued at ₹809 crores.
This is the highest amongst all franchises, followed by CSK with ₹732 crores. MI is also the most followed team on Social Media and has one of the largest fan-base in the country.
Even as the coronavirus pandemic has seen a direct impact on the sports sponsorship market — leading to reported 20-25 percent revenue cuts for IPL franchises — defending champions Mumbai Indians emerged as the premier club sports brand.
MI has retained the majority of their brand partners such as Samsung, Colors, William Lawson’s, Usha, Jio, Kingfisher, Dream 11, and Boat because of the last year’s championship and also with a vision to come back stronger and dominate again in 2020.
The team has also added new brands on the team’s roster, such as Marriott Bonvoy, Colgate, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Make My Trip, BKT Tires, Myntra, and Kotak Bank this season.
The strong mix of equally established global brands this year has enabled the four-time champions to match their last year’s sponsorship revenues.
Market sources estimate Mumbai Indians have recorded close to ₹90 crores through the team sponsorship values, which is the highest amongst all teams. The franchise is also known for its CSR cause, Reliance Foundation ESA, which it has been supporting for the last six years.
Apart from this, MI keeps a close connection with the fans and owes a lot of credits to the supporters who form a MI Paltan.
With IPL already moved to UAE, MI has launched a series of fan engagement activities. The initiative aims to keep the fans engaged, and cheer for their favorite players from home.
‘MI Live’ is a live studio show that will run pre-, during and post-match on the Indians’ YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter channels, as well as on a dedicated channel on Jio TV.
The team has launched ‘Paltan Play’, a mobile game to be played during live matches. ‘Virtual Wankhede’, named after the Indian’s home Wankhede Stadium, is an online service being run in partnership with Indian online clothes retailer Myntra, which allows fans to connect via video conference as they watch matches from home.
‘MI Buddy’ is an interactive WhatsApp chatbot that fans can speak to and receive information and content about the team.
Over the years, MI has proven to be the preferred sports brand of choice for global marquee brands to associate.
Many associations have been a first for them in the field of cricket like Master Card, Bridgestone, SAP, Taiwan Excellence, Etihad Airways, William Lawson and Sharp. It is one of those sports team which has set the benchmark in the International market due to its presence and brand value.
By Archil Katiyar