2017 : The top business deals in Indian Sports

IPL Media Rights, Title Sponsorships, Indian Sporting Industry, VIVO, Star Sports, InsideSport

The Indian sports was as much in headlines for commercial reasons as it has been for on-ground success during 2017. The sports as an industry has registered a consistent growth.

Indian Sporting industry is growing by the day. A Group M ESP report suggests that sports sponsorship industry in India has grown by over 19% in 2016. The demonetization and other landmark reforms have triggered a slowdown in the domestic economy, which also had an impact on the sports industry.

However, 2017 has been the year of landmark deals in the Indian Sporting industry. Sport as an industry is defined by multi-crore-rupee sponsorship deals, billion-dollar media rights agreement, and career-defining endorsement deals. Indian Sports have hit many a jackpot on these parameters, which have become high benchmarks for future. There have been deals which were worth establishing the growth of the Indian sports industry. Insidesport.co bring to its readers the MOST IMPACTFUL COMMERCIAL DEALS in Indian sports.


Monetary value of the commercial deal is not the sole criterion to evaluate the best deal. The insidesport.co business and editorial panel has also taken into account the factors like the impact a deal made on the overall ecosystem of the sport or the sporting property; overall increase on the previous values and the increase over the market expectations.



Pro Kabaddi League was sans a title sponsor for the four successive editions ever since its inception. Then came the deal on May 9, 2017, to redefine the commercial sphere of Indian sports. Chinese Smartphone brand VIVO committed Rs 300 crore for the PKL title sponsorship rights for a five-year cycle.

The INR 60 crore per season the PKL will get from VIVO is just a shade above Indian Premier League’s per match value for title sponsorship. However, the VIVO offer till date is the highest title sponsorship value deal in India outside cricket. This also defined the commercial growth of an Indian sport that was good enough only for a gold medal at the Asian Games or Asian competition level.

The deal confirmed arrival for kabaddi from a zero value sport to the second best commercial sporting property in India, which hitherto has the reputation of a one-sport nation.

Also Read: PKL announces tie-up with Vivo


The numbers will define it all – a commitment of Rs 16,247.5 crore ($2.55 billion) for five years; Rs 3,269.5 crore per season; Rs 55 crore per match and Rs 23.3 crore each legitimate delivery bowled during the Indian Premier League over the next five season (2018-2022).

The deal puts IPL ahead of cash-rich NBA in terms of per match revenue from title sponsorship and next to the Premier League football. EPL’s per match value from title sponsorship comes to Rs 84 crore while for NBA gets Rs 18 crore per match. NFL leads the table with Rs 150 crore per-match revenue.

The iconic deal is also a quantum jump over the previous IPL Media Rights agreement between the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Sony Pictures Network India. Sony had bought the IPL media rights from the World Sports Group in 2009 for $1.63 billion (Rs 10,436 crore) for a nine-year cycle. The Star-BCCI deal is a 182% jump over the previous IPL Media Rights value.

The bidding process also witnessed a path-breaking trend in the digital rights values. Social media giant Facebook has made an unsuccessful bid of Rs 3,900 crore. However, Star India has prevailed over all other bidders with its consolidated commitment of Rs 16,347.5 crore – highest ever media rights bid in the history of cricket.

Also Read: Star completes cricket portfolio with Rs 16,347.5 crore IPL bid


The VIVO bid to retain the IPL Title Sponsorship rights upset all predictions, calculations, and speculations. Extremely aggressive in its marketing approach, the Chinese mobile handset brand retained the IPL title sponsorship for the next five years with an awe-inspiring Rs 2,199 crore commitment – a 500% jump over the price VIVO was paying previously for the same rights.

VIVO had held the title rights for the 2016 and 2017 seasons at an estimated Rs 100 crore per year.

VIVO’s sister concern, another mobile manufacturer OPPO had made the next highest bid at Rs 1,430 crore. Pepsi had acquired the rights in 2013 for a five-year cycle at Rs 396 Crore.

Also Read: Rs 440 crore per annum as Vivo retains IPL title rights!!!


This is simply the highest brand endorsement deal for a celebrity in India. Virat Kohli became the first Indian sportsperson, in fact, celebrity, to land a brand endorsement deal worth on the higher side of Rs 100 crores.

The reported Rs 110-crore Puma deal catapulted Virat as the highest paid Indian celebrity brand – ahead of the Khans of Bollywood. A true value for the man, who is the lone Indian and cricketer in Forbes’ highest paid sports stars Top 100; who according to Forbes gives brands conversions on a par with the football legend Lionel Messi and better than Christiano Ronaldo.

Also Read: Puma inks record Rs 110 cr deal with Kohli, as InsideSport reported


The price tag for the VIRUSHKA DEAL OF THE YEAR is undisclosed. The duo, attired in the wedding range of Manyavar (for men) and Mohey, has captured more imagination and space on OOH hoardings in the Capital than any other rival brand.

As the Virushka tied the knot in Italy draped in Sabyasachi Mukherjee designers, their commercial association has made Manayvar-Mohey a talking and trending point on the occasion.

The association with the hottest Cricket-Bollywood couple close on the heels for the duo entering into the wedlock has made the brand a synonym with the matrimonial attire.


The Tata Group graduated as the title sponsor of the prestigious Mumbai Marathon, from its earlier status of an associate under the shadow of Standard Chartered Bank. The bankers have been the event’s main underwriter for more than a decade. The move indicates the salt-to-software group’s growing support towards emerging sporting events.

The annual sponsorship is reported to be Rs 30 crore. TCS also backs the New York City Marathon, the largest in the world, and the Amsterdam Marathon.

The Mumbai Marathon is one of the largest and richest races in Asia with a prize money of $405,000 for the 2018 edition. In 2017, the reward amount was $384,000. Tata Sons — the holding company of the conglomerate — along with group company TCS has inked a 10-year-deal with the event’s owner Procam International for the title sponsorship.

Also Read: Tata Group title sponsors for Mumbai Marathon


HERO MotoCorp has pledged Rs 180-190 crore to extend its naming rights deal for the All India Football Federation commercial properties for three years. The deal means that India’s premier football leagues will continue to be the Hero Indian Super League and the Hero I-League. The tie-up also makes India’s leading motorcycle brand the lead sponsor for the Indian men football team, 2nd division league, women league & all junior leagues.

Hero has been the title sponsor of ISL since its inaugural edition and paid Rs 60 Crores for 3 years of sponsorship. The renewed commitment has extended Hero MotoCorp’s football portfolio to virtually any and all AIFF properties of some commercial significance.

Also Read: HERO renews title sponsorship deal of ISL


From Rs 8 crore for three years to over Rs 12 crore per annum. That defines the quantum jump as Virat Kohli and tyre brand MRF have agreed to extend their brand association for the next eight years at a reported value of Rs 100 crores. The numbers are unprecedented for the cricket bat sponsorship space.

MS Dhoni, who reportedly bags Rs 4 crore per annum for the bat sponsorship tag, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan (Rs 3 crore each); Suresh Raina (Rs 2.5 crore) and Ajinkya Rahane (Rs 2 crore) per year are the next in line.

The Virat-MRF deal is the second best only to the Rs 110-cr, ore Virat-Puma contract. Sachin Tendulkar’s MRF deal around the turn of the millennium was Rs 3 crore per annum.

Also Read: Virat’s second Rs 100-crore pact, extends MRF deal for 8 years


Sony Pictures Networks India had lost out its hottest cricket property – IPL – to Star India. The broadcaster has strengthened its cricket portfolio with the acquisition of Cricket Australia media rights. Though the value of the deal is not disclosed officially, insidesport.co sources confirm the total deal value to be Rs 1,300 crore ($200 million) approximately.

SPN has acquired the exclusive media rights for all men’s international matches played in Australia till the 2021-22 Ashes Series. Sony has also separately acquired the media rights for women’s international cricket played in Australia, along with the Big Bash League and the Women’s Big Bash League.

SPN will also have extensive access to content from Cricket Australia’s archives and some original programming from the newly-created CA Productions team.

The agreement for the Indian subcontinent covers a number of countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and SPN will broadcast Australian cricket via its sports network of 11 channels.

The deal extends Sony’s live cricket content to six international cricket boards and gives the broadcaster enough strength to take on the might of Star India.

Also read: Sony acquires exclusive media rights of Cricket Australia


It was the highest ever bid for a foreign player in the IPL history. Rising Pune Supergiants, for their second and the last season in the IPL, have acquired the England all-rounder for Rs 14.5 crores – a more than 700% rise in the players’ base price.

The deal had eclipsed the previous highest record bid of Rs 9.5 crore paid to the Australian all-rounder Shane Watson.

Also Read: In Rs 2cr base price, Morgan, Stokes eye lucrative deals


Oppo Mobiles India, the local arm of Chinese smartphone firm Oppo Electronics Corp., outbid the other BBK Group sister concern and fiercest rival in India Vivo, to earn the right of placing the brand logo on the chest of the Indian cricket team jersey.

Interestingly, there was no third bid. Oppo made a successful offer of Rs 1,079 crores. The amount was nearly double than BCCI’s Rs 538 crore reserve price. It was also a 500% escalation on what incumbent Star India was paying for the same opportunity.

Vivo had committed Rs 768 crore in its bid. Oppo’s five-year deal includes the right to be called the official sponsor of the Indian cricket team, the right to display a commercial logo on the clothing of the men’s cricket team, the under-19 side, the men’s A-Team and the women’s squad.

Also Read: Rs 1,000 crore windfall for BCCI, Oppo replaces Star in record deal