The Indian Premier League (IPL) has emerged as one of the biggest sporting leagues in the world. Since its inception in 2008, the T20 tournament’s craze among cricket supporters has been phenomenal, and with time, the fever has only increased. With the support of cricket devotees, the league has become the second-most valued sporting league in terms of per-match value, following the National Football League of the United States.
Back in 2008, when the league was announced with its franchise format, the excitement among cricket fans reached its peak. The announcement of eight city-based squads helped fans choose the team they would want to support. In the 15 years of the IPL journey, one team which has garnered vast support is Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Although RCB is yet to win their first title, it has been able to reserve a special place in the hearts of their supporters. This unprecedented fan following has also profited the franchise economically. Currently, it is the third richest franchise in the league, with a net value of INR 697 crore.
Let’s see how RCB make money in the cash-rich league:
1. Media Rights
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) receives a massive amount by selling the media rights of the league. Banking on this revenue model, the board has made a lot of money from TV and digital broadcasters in the last 15 years. The emergence of online streaming platforms has proven to be a boon for the BCCI as it brought more money for the board.
This unprecedented model not only helps the richest cricket board but also the franchises participating in the league. After taking away its share from the total revenue, the BCCI shares the remaining amount with the teams at the end of the tournament. Among all franchises, the one that wins the title gets the highest amount.
Recently, there was a huge boost in RCB’s revenues as the BCCI bagged a lucrative media rights deal in 2022 for the 2023-27 seasons of the IPL. This incredible deal has helped RCB increase their earnings from the cash-rich tournament.
Sponsorships are one of the most important sources of income for RCB. In 2023, the franchise signed a record-breaking three-year title sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways. The airline company replaced the financial firm Muthoot FinCorp as the main principal sponsor, paying INR 75 crore for three years.
Following this deal, the airline company’s logo currently features on the front of RCB’s official jersey. Along with the coming in of Qatar Airways as the main principal partner; Reliance Jio, the Mumbai-based Indian telecom company has also been a principal sponsor of the franchise since the 2018 edition of the T20 league.
Besides these two huge brands, KEI and Happilo are also the main partners of the three-time IPL runners-up. The franchise’s association with these massive brands will pave way for them to bring in more money in the 2023 edition of the IPL.
3. Stadium tickets and gate passes
RCB generates a fine sum through ticket sales at the iconic M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Despite not coming victorious as often, the RCB supporters show up at the stadium to cheer for their team on regular basis. Barring the COVID-interrupted seasons, RCB have played all their home games in this venue.
According to BCCI guidelines, franchise owners have the right to set ticket prices. The team owners keep 80% of the share from ticket sales in their pocket, while the remaining amount goes to the BCCI and sponsors. Apart from the stadium tickets, gate passes also help the franchise to obtain a large amount.
Between 2020-22, no IPL matches were conducted at the stadium due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, with the return of the home-and-away format in 2023, things are getting normal and people are flocking to the stadium in large numbers, which has brought cheers to the faces of franchise owners.
2. Merchandise sales
The Bangalore-based franchise also earns a decent amount through its merchandise sales. In 2017, RCB broke into the lifestyle business by partnering with Status Quo to reveal its athleisure apparel collection. After six years, one can now get access to the RCB online store and buy fashion apparel such as T-shirts, shorts, tees, jackets, flip-flops, and more.
Witnessing their team’s increasing fan base and immense social media following, the Diageo-owned franchise stitched a strategic partnership with Puma in 2021, to launch its athleisure range. The deal gave the German multinational corporation the right to the team’s merchandise.
The tie-up between the franchise and the international brand has reinforced RCB fans’ connection with their team. With this deal, the franchise owners have ensured that their avid supporters have easy access to their team’s merchandise across the country.
1. Prize Amount
Although Challengers have not won the IPL trophy so far, they have, however, received share of the IPL prize money on multiple occasions. After their disastrous show in 2008, the team played exceptional cricket in 2009 and made it to the final. However, they lost to Adam Gilchrist-led Deccan Chargers in the final and ended up their journey as runners-up.
For their superb show in the tournament, they also bagged the prize money of INR 2.4 crore at the end of the tournament. In 2011, they played aggressively but couldn’t win the title, losing to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final. That year, they received INR five crore for their performance.
After five years, they again qualified for the final but lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in front of their home crowd. SRH, on one side, got INR 20 crore while on the other side, RCB secured a whopping amount of INR 11 crore.