Dream11 Catches IPL Title Sponsorship this Year

The winning offer of the fantasy sports podium Dream11 for sponsoring the title of the Indian Premier League (IPL) shows the budding ambitions and growth plans of the startup, with which new business areas could be opened up.

Mumbai-based Dream11 founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain (CEO) and Bhavit Sheth (COO) and had more than 80 billion users. It is India’s first gaming startup to achieve unicorn status, an business term for startups valued at over $ 1 billion. Jain is the son of Anand Jain, a close associate of Mukesh Ambani, President of Reliance Industries.

An avid supporter of Manchester United, the Mumbai Indians and the Indian cricket team, Jain graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an engineering degree and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Sheth earned his MBA in corporate finance from Bentley University and engineering from DJ Sanghvi College of Engineering.

“Dream11 is a successful brand, and their association with the IPL franchise has helped them in the past. Now they want to take it to the next level by moving from a secondary brand to a direct personality, “said Ashutosh Sharma, vice president and director of research at Forrester. Although many people who have seen the IPL now have Dream11 to some extent. Maybe they’d like to interact with him to see how the virtual game works alongside the real one, “he added.

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IPL Deal with Dream11

“The IPL deal will help Dream11 in its plans to expand its business beyond fantasy sports based on the vast and highly dedicated user base the startup has built, said a person familiar with the matter.

“They have built an enormous user base. They now have big plans to expand into other sports-related areas. Including areas such as offline sporting events and sporting goods, “the named person said on condition of anonymity.

Cricket Dream11

“Of course, partnering with premium sports leagues is nothing new for Dream11. In fact, the startup has built India’s largest fantasy sports platform based on secure connections with major sports leagues.

“In 2018, Dream11 announced eleven collaborations with the International Cricket Council, the Pro Kabaddi League. The International Hockey Federation and the Big Bash League, and offered fantasy leagues for their flagship tournaments. Former Indian cricket team captain M.S. Dhoni was hired as a brand ambassador, and the same year the first hockey league was launched.

“In 2019, the first fantasy league added to IPL, and a fantasy volleyball league followed.

“According to the founder of a mobile gaming platform, 60-70% of Dream11’s total revenue is concentrated in IPL. The fact that Dream11 is paying a substantial sum to obtain these rights may not surprise many.

“A July 9 report by FIFA and KPMG said the gross sales of India’s online fantasy sports industry exceeded Rs 2.4 billion in fiscal 2020, more than triple the Rs 920 million received in fiscal 2019.

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Sponsorship

“The battle to take over IPL’s primary sponsorship in full swing from the day VIVO decided to give up IPL sponsorship this year due to the anti-Chinese sentiment in India. VIVO, an official IPL partner for five years since 2018, paid around 450 crores per year to sponsor the IPL title. Many names like JIO, Patanjali, Byjus, Unacademy and Dream11 seemed to win the most anticipated and most-watched tournament on this planet.

“Yesterday, BCCI announced that Dream11 have selected as the official IPL title sponsor with the highest bid. The Dream11 pays around 222 million rupees for a one-year contract.

“VIVO’s fall, this year of the IPL season, is the severe setback for BCCI and Franchises. VIVO paid Rs 2.2 billion for a five-year contract between 2018 and 2022, which is roughly Rs 450 million. With Dream11 coming to the rescue, BCCI has some relief, but the amount they pay is still 50% less than VIVO’s. In the unlisted market, Chennai Super Kings shares were in full swing after the IPL announcement. But we have to understand that the loss of VIVO as the primary sponsor will affect Chennai Super Kings revenues for 2020-21.

NOTE-“Dream11 did not respond to a request for comment on this story.”

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