Can Football Premier League (FPL) Ride On The Success Of IPL

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 2983 , Published on 03 January 2012

The crowds  have thronged the stadiums at every single venue, including that bastion of conservatism, Chennai, and the joie de vivre ambience are the indications that the IPL has caught the imagination of the masses. The entire concept of IPL is based on the assumption that the public will take a fancy to supporting league teams, as opposed to national teams, and come out in large numbers to watch their favorite stars play, whatever their nationality.

Football Premier League

But if we take the case of football, we still operate in an amateurish system and words like accountability, debt or administration are almost non-existent in Indian football's lexicon. Vijay Mallya's United Breweries Group are title sponsors for both clubs - McDowell & Co for Mohun Bagan and Kingfisher for East Bengal.Almost all of the two teams' expenditure in a season depends on their respective title sponsors. With other routes for generating money as good as dormant, the concept of organized football finance is extremely limited. 
Prior to Mallya's arrival on the field,the clubs were run by an amateur consortium of officials where the seasonal budget hovered around Rs 40-50 lakh each.The clubs' financial kitty has swelled now to about Rs 10 crore each. Players are now embracing the game as a career option, but infrastructure and facilities and training have remained static all these years. Football is still in the world of ‘babudom’ in Mohun Bagan and East Bengal where the supporters' education in professionalism is taken for granted too easily.

Scope for Success of football:

1. Financial superpowers like Ambanis, Mallyas, Birlas and Mittals are keen to uplift the standards of sports in India.

2. Success of league system in Cricket changed the way of thinking of many.

3. Football is the most watched sports on this planet and FIFA is interested in making India a Soccer Superpower.

4. We Indians, have started taking sports as careers which was never thought of before(except cricket)

5. India’s growing middle class is interested in spending money provided they get value for money.


  • Seeing the trend , it can be inferred that people are spending money on the sports gear and wear indicating that the market is there for sports. The best part is that its in the nascent stage making it very attractive from marketing point of view.
  • There are 6540 clubs, 3.5 million registered players in India and enough money for football players. All these factors are hygiene factors implying that absence of any of these would lead to no improvement or less improvement but presence of all these would lead to an overall beautiful picture only if they are done concurrently.
  • Television viewership of football in India has risen sharply in the past few years, according to a report by TAM Media Research. “Among non-cricket sports, soccer is at number one in India,” says the report. “There are 83m football viewers in the country and 55 per cent of them watch domestic leagues.”
  • People are willing to shell extra money for a quality matches and entertainment (IPL case)  In short, transformation of Indian football on the footsteps of IPL will lead to a Football explosion in India. So, we should conduct tournaments inviting quality players from Europe playing against Indian Players and at a time that is leisure time for Indian(Evening Hours and Weekends)
  • Zee group are the host broadcasters of Indian football from October 2005 to September 2015.
  • Bharti group has committed an investment of Rs.100 crores towards building a world class academy in India.
  • ONGC is the title sponsor of the I-League for the last three years
  • Nike sponsors an under-15 tournament for club teams
  • J&K Bank was a strong force in making this year’s Santosh Trophy a landmark in the Jammu and Kashmir region.
  • Coca-Cola is integrating India into their global school football campaign. This year they are targeting over 1000 schools to take part in their Football Champs tournament.

The Big Plan for India: Financial Aids and Strategic Planning (Promotion)


1. Reliance Industries, has teamed up with IMG, the US sports marketing company, to pay Rs7bn ($156m) for the right to run tournaments organised by the All India Football Federation. It will take two to three years to kick off everything and for them to be able to put in place the new league structure.The deal would allow Mr Ambani to manage the AIFF league for the next 15 improve, popularize and promote the game of football throughout India, from the grassroots to the professional level.

2. Lakshmi Mittal, telecom czar Sunil Bharti Mittal and liquor baron Vijay Mallya see a great business proposition in Indian football. While Mallya’s United Breweries sponsors East Bengal FC, LN Mittal and Sunil Mittal have drawn up big plans to support the world’s favorite game at the grassroots level in India.

3. Advertisements and sponsorships of other corporate houses .

4.  Sports Ministry


  • Running nationwide developmental programes, not just one academy in one city.TFA is a good step and we need to climb the ladder. Need some encouragement from GOI and more sports school like MNSS RAI.
  • Online promotion, talent search in schools and colleges, tie up with the European Leagues, throughout the year cash rich football tournaments and quality job reservations for Extraordinary  Sports-persons.
  • Promotion of sport like football can be done by incentivizing the local talents.FPL provides a perfect opportunity.
  • Tie ups with schools and football academy promoting FPL


1. Time and again we have heard of football in India being on the brink of making it big but nothing big really happened.It sets an air of skeptism in Investors mind.

2. Another problem in Indian football is that we don’t have the knowledge to implement ideas.

3. Unprofessionalism Unlimited....Since India doesn’t follow the FIFA calendar, for the national camps often the league has to stop which irritates the clubs in the process.

4. Wanted: More Bhaichungs!
Houghton believes that the way forward is to have more players like the Sikkimese Sniper, who can generate interest in the sport.. I’m sure M.S.Dhoni and company were inspired by Kapil Dev and others.


Football is finally finding its feet in the willows nation. The world’s most popular game, played in over 200 countries, is ready for a makeover in India with efforts by football authorities and even corporates. 

This article has been authored by Rohit Nema from LBSIM.


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