How has the cricket merchandise space transformed over the years?

With increasing interest in the sport; the cricket boards, organisers and the brands have shown a keen interest in investing in the merchandise space, thereby growing the segment exponentially, in the last few years.

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Cricket is more than just a sport in India and in 2019, finances are a rollercoaster in the sport. From brands to sponsors involved in the sport, they pay big bucks to teams and endorsements also play a huge role. Merchandising generates a lot of revenue for the brands, who then, in turn, provide sponsorship deals to the sporting body, and one important segment in the space is the cricket jersey. 

Over the years, fans of the sport have loved the available cricket jersey for men and women, and this is what has lead both the board and the brands to tap the opportunity, to make it an investable segment. 

Team India's current kit suppliers are American multinational sportswear brand 'Nike' and the current team sponsor is Oppo, a Chinese consumer electronics and mobile communications company. This deal between BCCI and Oppo will span for a total of five years and is said to be worth a massive USD 157 million. This marks a record for the Indian national cricket team’s shirt sponsorship. With changing times in the sports and apparels segments, brands have been showing interest actively in the cricket jersey segments, thereby finding an opportunity to be involved in the sponsorship market. It is also being said that brands like Oppo and many others are focusing on global markets, and other tournaments or sports, besides cricket. 

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During the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, ICC introduced the home and away a concept for the 12th edition and team India’s cricket jersey design was navy blue/orange for the match against hosts England. Over the years, team India's kit has seen a transformation with different kit suppliers and brands sponsoring the team. 

Previously, the Indian team was sponsored by Star India from 2014 to 2017, Sahara India Pariwar from 2002 to 2013 and ITC Limited (with Wills and ITC Hotels brands) from 1993 to 2002. 

The current cricket jersey kit sponsors for the Indian team until 2020 is Nike, which in 2005 acquired the rights from BCCI. The deal with Nike has been extended twice for a period of five years each time; in 2011 and 2016 respectively. Paytm, since 2015 is currently the sponsor for all matches played by the team within India until 2019. Star Sports Network is the official broadcaster until 2023 for all matches the team plays in India.

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Not only the Indian cricket team, but the brand game for the Indian Premier League teams are also even stronger. With cricket jersey kit manufacturers like Lux Cozi, T10 sports, Squad Gear, Performax, and others, IPL brands keep changing from season to season, depending on the deal the franchise has signed with the brand. There have been big brands like Adidas (German multinational sportswear brand) supplying kits to Mumbai Indians during the earlier IPL years. 

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