The pandemic has made a negative impact on all sporting events across the globe. IPL is no exception to this trend. According to a report released by Duff & Phelps, the value of the IPL Ecosystem decreased by 3.6% in 2020, a drop from Rs 47,500 crores in 2019 to Rs 45,800 crores in 2020. In USD terms, the value decreased by 8.7% from $6.78 billion to $6.19 billion. This is the first time since 2014 when the tournament’s brand valuation has dropped.
The devaluation happened after IPL’s title sponsor VIVO pulled out of the deal due to tensions between India and China. The additional expenditure due to games in bio-bubble also contributed to the dip in value. More importantly, the brand values of all IPL franchises fell after IPL 2020 was played behind closed doors in UAE instead of India. Fans didn’t get a chance to interact with the teams through events such as meet and greet.
IPL’s most successful team Mumbai Indians remained at the top spot in the franchise brand rankings for the fifth consecutive year with a brand value of Rs 761 crores. The Mumbai-based franchise also suffered 5.9% dip in value. Despite being number two and three on the list, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders faced a huge drop in their respective brand values.
Due to CSK’s worst-ever on-field performance, the brand value fell from Rs 732 crore to Rs611 crore. Similarly, KKR’s consistent poor-on-field performance along with the lack of a marquee player hampered the brand value. KKR usually gets by due to owner Shah Rukh Khan’s brand value. This time around that didn’t help either as there has been a slight decline in the SRK’s brand as well.
The only team to have experienced the least (almost negligible) impact on brand value is Delhi Capitals. Delhi’s brand value decreased by a mere 1.0% from Rs 374 crores to Rs 370 crores. Even performance-wise, they gave their best performance in IPL 2020 and made it to the finals for the first time in the history of the league. The team’s combination of marquee players and next-generation stars, efficient management, and the involvement of the JSW Group brand has unlocked the value of Delhi Capitals. However, they have a long way to go since they remain sixth in the brand value list.
Despite the fall in the value of the IPL ecosystem, staying alive during a raging pandemic with record-breaking viewership and advertisement revenues showed the strength of the tournament. With the opening of the economy and the ongoing vaccination drives to curb COVID-19 cases in India, the sponsorship deals will be back to pre-COVID-19 levels. Furthermore, the increase in the number of teams in 2022 and the renewal of media rights in 2023 would enhance the IPL brand in the coming years.