March 8, 2009
Asia races ahead
Then: As crisis-ridden companies across Europe and US back out of sponsorship deals with top football clubs, Formula 1 teams and global events, financially better off Asian firms are stepping in and talking big money. And it's not just Anil Ambani showing interest in buying the British football club Manchester City or the fraud-struck Satyam Computer Services becoming a major sponsor for the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups in South Africa and Brazil, respectively. The trend is catching on fast across India and rest of Asia. So, while Tata Consultancy Services has been roped in by Ferrari for Formula One, liquor baron Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines now sponsors Force India at the F1 Grand Prix. More recently, Sahara India and financial services firm Religare have been approached by soccer giants Manchester United for sponsorship after American International Group decided to not renew its shirt sponsorship contract with Man U.
Now: Global sports advertising and sponsorships are today estimated at about $15 billion. There has been no let-off in the trend. Pune-based Venky's acquired EPL team Blackburn Rovers in November 2010 for »23 million. Airtel is sponsoring the F1 Grand Prix (India 2011)