As per the media release, the data was collected through the course of the eight weeks of IPL 2020, which was held in the UAE due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The study pegged the number of fans across the eight IPL franchises at 86 million (8.6 crores).
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.
MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has emerged as the strongest franchise, with 26.8 million fans, closely followed by five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians (MI) at 24.8 million fans. Mumbai Indians are being led by Rohit Sharma and they have won all their IPL titles under his leadership.
Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) rank third, with 13.3 million fans. Between them, these three franchises account for 75 per cent of the total fan base, while the remaining five contribute to the balance 25%.
Gender base fans
64% (55 million) of the total franchise fans are males, while the balance 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.
CSK & RCB have stronger female fans base
Nationwide popularity of their star players (MS Dhoni & Virat Kohli respectively) contribute to their stronger female fan base. Mumbai Indians lead Chennai Super Kings by a slender margin when it comes to the male fan base, but the latter takes the overall no. 1 position because of its stronger female following.
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, merchandising, 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”.
(With Inputs from Media Release)
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