There is absolutely no doubt that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most successful and the richest cricket league in the world. In fact, it is one of the most successful league in the world across sports. One of the factors behind its success is the huge fan base.
There is arguably no cricket league in the world which garners as much attention as IPL from the cricket world. The tournament obviously has the biggest fan base in India and media consulting firm Ormax Media recently released the staggering numbers.
The company has released the findings of its study on ‘IPL Franchise Fans’, based on a research conducted among 3,200 urban respondents across 23 states in India. The data was collected through the course of the eight weeks of the recently-concluded IPL 2020.
The study has stated that the number of fans across the eight IPL franchises is a staggering 86.0 Million (8.6 Cr). The study defines a franchise fan as someone who has a clear favourite team, is emotionally connected with it, watches its matches from start to finish, and discusses the team and its players online or offline.
Three-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have emerged as the strongest franchise, with 26.8 Million fans, followed by five-time winners Mumbai Indians (MI) at 24.8 Million fans. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ranks third, with 13.3 Million fans. These three franchises combine for 75% of the total fan base, while the remaining five contribute to the balance 25%.
Out of the total fans, 64% (55 Million) are males, while the remaining 36% (31 Million) are females. CSK & RCB have the most gender-balanced fan base, with the proportion of female fans being the highest at 40% each. Nationwide popularity of their star players (MS Dhoni & Virat Kohli respectively) contributes to their stronger female fan base.
Commenting on the findings, Shailesh Kapoor, Founder & CEO – Ormax Media said:
“Apart from viewership, a definitive measure of the success of a sports league is whether the teams playing in it manage to build a sizeable fan base over the years. A strong fan base is eventually the key for a profitable franchise, because it offers higher monetization opportunities through sponsorships, ticket sales, merchandizing, licensing and other such avenues.
Over the last 13 years, IPL has done very well, and the fan base estimates of the top 2 franchises suggest that they are now two of the strongest sports teams across the world. It’s for the other franchises to learn from the success story of CSK and MI and develop a strategy to widen their fan base in the coming years,” he added.