India’s first ever Sports Salary Report reveals startling facts

Foreign players earn 64 percent of the 1100 crores that is floating around the Indian Sports Leagues market, while the Indian players get only 36 percent of the pie. More facts like these were uncovered in the launch of India’s first ever sports salaries report conducted by Super Insight.

Raman Raheja, Director, Super Insight

Raman Raheja, Director, Super Insight

The recent times have seen the surgence of various sports leagues in India. The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a pioneer for the leagues like International Tennis Premier League (ITPL), Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), Indian Super League (ISL), Pro Wrestling League (PWL), and Indian Premier Badminton League (PBL). Perhaps, it was opportune that Super Insight conducted a detailed report on the salaries earned by the players playing in this league.

Super Insight’s Indian sports salaries report was conceived with several aims, one of them being to produce a substantial piece of original research. The research has looked beyond one or two major ‘hotspots’ like Cricket and IPL to reflect real and not just skewed patterns.

The report also measures the success of each sport and sportstars in accordance with the TV viewership of the events. Measuring the success with 10-60 seconds Ad spot rates is the new mantra which evolved since the advent of satellite television, and Sports Insight took the concept to another level.

The research attempts to create a like-for-like target with a range of parameters included in the overall analysis of the various Indian leagues and teams playing in the same. On the launch, Raman Raheja – Director, Super Insight said “On the face of it, I feel that money spent on creating the content for each sport should be compared with the earning potential of the content. And that is how we could plan a way forward.” He added, “with all these and more, we felt the need for a start of a new research initiative in the Business of Sports. One that has a strategic approach and can help in making direct comparisons amongst certain key drivers of growth. One that is just not about random numbers showing a mirage of trends.”

As the success of any Sporting event or property is measured against the TV Ad rates for each, the report here has done an analysis which can be effectively used to measure the cost of creating one minute of content against the revenue generating potential in that one minute.

To everyone’s surprise India’s Yogeshwar Dutt has India’s highest average of salary/minute, higher than MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. Dutt earned INR 1.65 Lacs/minute in Pro Wrestling League, and featured on number 7 rank on the list of players whose average was determined on salary/minute parameter. The first six being foreigners. The only cricketer to feature in top 20 is Yuvraj Singh who earned INR 1.01 Lacs/minute in 2015 during the IPL. He ranked No. 17th on the list.

The uniqueness of this study lies in looking beyond total payrolls or club wage bills to what the players make per head against what they help generate for their employers.

The Social media reach is a relevant tool adopted to measure the cost benefit analysis for the Franchisees and Clubs to measure the return on investments made in buying the players.

Some Key Facts Reported are:

  • INR 1100 Crore Budgeted for Player Salaries in 8 leagues. This is 75% of the India’s Sports Budget for 2015
  • INR 823 Crore spent on players’ salaries
  • Indians account for only 36% of the money spent on players with salaries amounting to INR 296 Crores
  • Foreigners earn about INR 527 Crores which is 64% of the total money spent on players
  • Cricketers are not the highest paid Sportspersons playing in the Indian Leagues
  • Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are the highest earning players with INR 26 Crores+ each for playing in IPTL
  • Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal earn double than Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni for playing in the Indian League
  • Roger Federer = All Hockey Players Salaries
  • Rafa Nadal/Roger Federer > all players of PBL/Pro Kabaddi/IWL
  • All the players list of Hockey League, Badminton League, Wrestling League and Pro Kabaddi each get less than Rafa Nadal or Roger Federer alone.
  • Andy Murray earns INR 14.34 lacs per minute for playing in IPTL
  • Top 6 players (All Tennis) earn INR 6 lacs per minute or more for playing in IPTL
  • Yogeshwar Dutt is the highest paid Indian at No. 7 with an earning of INR 1.65 lacs per minute for playing in Pro Wrestling League
  • Yuvraj Singh is the highest paid cricketer at No. 17 when he earned INR 1.01 lacs per minute in 2015.
  • And the likes of Virat Kohli (29th), MS Dhoni (34th) and Suresh Raina (48th) are earning way below INR 75k/minute ($1240/min).
  • Cricket earmarks the highest amount of ₹420 crore amongst all other sports played in Indian Sports leagues.
  • The 169 IPL players considered for this report across the 8 IPL teams in 2014-15 earned INR 419.5 Crore between them at an average of INR 2.48 Crore per player.
  • Tennis players are the highest earners with an average of INR 3.5 Crore per player with IPTL Players alone earning more than double the Cricketers with an average of INR 5.5 Crores each.
  • Indian players rank 36 on the average pay out amongst the players from 73 countries playing in Indian Leagues
  • India is followed by Australia (11%), South Africa (6%) and Switzerland (5%) as the highest earning countries sending players for playing in the Indian League
  • Average salary to Indian players is 25 times less than the highest average salary
  • India has 13 players earning more than INR 5 Crores followed by Australia (6) and South Africa (4)
  • With 203 players playing the ISL, it is the biggest employment platform in sheer numbers.
  • For Football (ISL) the average pay-out is INR 31 lacs/player ($50000/player) with a total spend of about INR 63 Crores ($10M) on the player salaries.
  • Highest paid Footballer in ISL earns ₹4.8 Crore and is ranked 38th amongst the top earning players playing in the leagues.
  • Pro Kabaddi has taken the Indian market by storm and is claimed to be the 2nd most watched sporting league in India but the league is the least spender on Player pool with a total spend of about INR 6.2 Crores ($1M).
  • Amongst the Clubs and Franchisees, Royal Challengers Bangalore of IPL is the biggest spender with INR 63.5 Crores ($10M) closely followed by the Indian Aces of IPTL with INR 63.36 Crores.
  • But Indian Aces are much higher on Average pay-out per player with estimated INR 6.3 Crore per player ($1M) as against RCB’s INR 2.53 Crores per player ($400,000).
  • 426 million followers is the Cumulative Social media reach of the Leagues and Players.
  • Virat Kohli leads the Social media reach amongst all the players with 33 million fans
  • Shuttler Jwala Gutta is the most cost efficient buy in terms of fan following with a PPR quotient of ₹0.7/reach
  • Virender Sehwag has the most cost effective reach amongst the Cricketers.
  • Maria Sharapova is the most followed women Sportsperson playing in Indian leagues.
  • IPL has the widest fan-base amongst all the leagues with a reach of more than 20 million fans.
  • Awadhe Warriors (PBL) is the 1st Super Club of ISSR 2016, based on Cumulative Social Media reach of Club & its Players, Total Payout and performance in the league.
  • Chennai Super Kings (IPL) and FC Goa (ISL) are next two in Super Club rankings.

About Raman Raheja

Being one of the first generation professional of Live Entertainment Industry in India, he feels that he has been fortunate to have had his influence felt for over 20 years. He has been a significant player with some of India’s most respected marketing services agencies and have worked on some of the biggest projects. He is looked upon as a thought leader, strategic consultant and relationship manager, with a huge catalogue of success behind him. But it’s the future that interests him more.

He explored every discipline within the marketing mix and having earlier worked with Wizcraft, HT Media and lastly with World Kabaddi League as the Founder and CEO, he ventured into the Business of Sports while chasing his dreams.  He had set-up Super Sports which is today one of the fastest growing Sports Marketing and Management Company. His mantra for life -“If you want to be successful, you must focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t.”

About Super Insight

Super Insight is a Research Services Agency offering a distinctive combination of client-side marketing and new products experience and expertise in qualitative research. The company is into delivering quality, actionable and accessible insights that enables their clients to make knowledge-based decisions on commercial strategies.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Super Sports & Projects (P) Ltd, a Sports Marketing and Management company, it endevours to bring value for its customers by developing cost effective research solutions. Now they are looking to create a specialisation in the area of Sports related Research activities. They are committed to bring a unique perspective with a refreshing approach and insights especially in the field of Sports and Entertainment.

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