Sports sponsorships are big money in India — and a big opportunity for phone companies

Chinese smartphone brands Oppo and Vivo (owned by the third-largest smartphone maker in the world, BKK Electronics) just pledged $550m to sports sponsorships (mainly cricket) in India over the next 5 years. That means BKK now owns 50% of the annual sponsorship money committed in India annually, in a market that’s grown 33% since 2016. […]


March 23, 2018

Chinese smartphone brands Oppo and Vivo (owned by the third-largest smartphone maker in the world, BKK Electronics) just pledged $550m to sports sponsorships (mainly cricket) in India over the next 5 years.

That means BKK now owns 50% of the annual sponsorship money committed in India annually, in a market that’s grown 33% since 2016.

GOOOOL: Indian youths

Chinese smartphone companies have been targeting young people in India as mobile usage explodes, and they now hold 50% of the Indian market.

Vivo first entered the field with its 2015 sponsorship of The Indian Premier League (a cricket league founded in 2007), which it purchased for 2 years (at $15m a year). 

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The visibility helped BKK catch on with Indian consumers (Vivo and Oppo each hold 9.4% and 7.5% of the market, respectively), and Vivo re-upped in 2017 for $67.5m per year, a 450% increase from its previous bid.

India’s got the big green

India’s sports sponsorships passed the $1B mark in 2017, as 36 new franchises were added across all new and existing sports leagues, including cricket, India’s favorite sport (and the second most-watched sport in the world).

In 2016, the ICC T20 World Cup (akin to the FIFA World Cup for cricket) had 730m viewers in India alone, and today The Indian Premier League is one of the top 5 most valuable global sports properties in the world.

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