India’s sports industry saw an 11% growth in 2023, reaching a total revenue of ₹15,766 crore compared to 2022, according to a report released by GroupM ESP, the entertainment, esports and sports division of GroupM India. This revenue encompasses sponsorships, media spends, and endorsement fees. The majority of the industry's revenue, nearly 87%, came from cricket, totalling ₹13,701 crore in 2023, marking a 13% increase.

Titled ‘Sporting Nation - Building a Legacy’, the report highlighted that sponsorship spends surged to ₹7,345 crore in 2023, a 24% increase over 2022. It compiles data on sponsorship expenditures, which includes ground, team, and franchise fees, endorsements by athletes, and media expenses by brands. Among these, historically and in 2023, ground sponsorship has made the largest contribution, amounting to 42% of the total revenue at ₹3,117 crore.

On the other hand, overall media spends on sports remained almost unchanged at ₹7,494 crore in 2023, down by 1% in 2022 at ₹7,553. This was attributed to challenging business conditions and inflationary pressures, resulting in subdued spending by advertisers across sports and non-sports genres. Advertising expenses on cricket properties recorded a total amount of ₹7,074 crore in 2023.

Digital ad revenue saw a 40% growth to ₹2,870 crore in 2023 from ₹2,045 crore in 2022. This growth was attributed to IPL matches and many cricket world cup matches being available for free on OTT platforms, compared to the previous season where they were behind a paywall. OTT platforms have propelled digital media advertising to 38% share of the whole, from 27% compared to a year ago. The report highlighted the significant role of OTT platforms in transforming sports consumption patterns.

TV advertising dwindled in 2023 by 16% and recorded a total of ₹4,620 crore dropping by ₹886 crore. Television’s share of total ad spends was 73% in 2022, which came down to 62% last year. The IPL saw a decline in TV ad spends, while digital grew by 25%.

Additionally, the report mentioned that sports celebrities earned a total of ₹927 crore in endorsement fees in 2023, marking a 24% increase from the previous year. “In 2008, the total revenue recorded was to the tune of ₹2,423 crore. In 16 years, we saw an industry that scaled up to 6.5 times the value of the launch year of the IPL. To take a decade-long view, the CAGR from 2013 is a hugely impressive 13.7%."

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