The sports arm of Reliance Industries Ltd – IMG-Reliance, has closed 36 deals across multiple brands and franchises for the ongoing Indian Premier League season, including the Indian cricketing board BCCI. A joint venture and the single largest firm in sports marketing, licensing and sponsorship in India, IMG-Reliance, has raised a record revenue, estimated to be double of the agency’s last year’s earnings.
The marquee deal for IMG-Reliance’s growth trajectory for this year has been Dream11’s title sponsorship of INR 222 crore with IPL. The Mumbai-based firm has exclusively represented Dream11 on its BCCI & IPL related partnerships and also assisted them in securing cricketers as part of their activation plans. This is in addition to facilitating 6 team deals with Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals & Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Despite the global slowdown induced by the pandemic, IMG-Reliance has enhanced its sponsorship business portfolio significantly, building on its strong relationships with brand partners and the IPL rights holders (teams), with its focused approach on building long term values. In just over four years of entering sponsorship service business, the Reliance Industries arm has gained dominance in India, making rapid strides and leading the changing dynamics of sports industry in the country.
Nikhil Bardia, Head of Sponsorship Sales and Talents, IMG-Reliance, said: “This season, Dream11’s IPL title sponsorship was a very big win for us, along with BKT who joined the IPL wave with 6 IPL team partnerships. The brand partners have consistently appreciated our strategic insights, our knowledge around the assets and most importantly, our ability to find a fine balance between rights holders & brands, to make the partnerships impactful for all parties. It is this experience, which has helped us to grow in the sponsorship landscape with a large number of deals to become a dominant player in the region for cricket.”
IMG-Reliance is also on board with marquee brands like BKT Tires, BoAt, FanCode and Jio through a combination of licensing and sponsorship service.
For IPL 2020, IMG-Reliance has also facilitated licensing deals for lifestyle brand BoAt – with six IPL teams – Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians, as official audio partner. The Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT Tires) is on board with Rajasthan Royals, CSK, MI, DC, KXIP and KKR; while Jio has occupies strategic spots on jerseys across all eight teams leveraging maximum visibility a brand can avail through IPL.
“Sports marketing is still in its early years in India and we see a clear opportunity to pioneer the sector. With a cluttered market, we have recognized that “one solution fits all’ approach does not work for all brands looking to ride the IPL wave. We ensure that we spend enough time with the brands to understand their objectives before formulating their IPL strategy. We have also been able to find cost-effective activations for brands, which allows them to realise maximum value from the partnership. Our aim is to get brands commit towards long term strategic partnerships, which go beyond just being a branding exercise but instead build a connect with the fans of the teams, to give our partners better leverage around the benefits,” explains Bardia.