As per media value FC Pune City is number one in the ISL, says Gaurav Modwel
The media value that our sponsors got as per a study made by Nielsen proved that we were the best in the ISL; not the highest sponsorship revenue. We were in the top four in terms of sponsorship revenue, but as per media value, we are number one.
Pune At FC Pune City’s inaugural Shanknaad event (04/08/2018), where the club revealed all its plans for the upcoming ISL season and also the things that have been going on off the pitch, CEO Gaurav Modwel took the opportunity to tell the audience about the club having the highest media value in the ISL - an overall QI value of Rs 116,74,60,228. HT probed him further on how the club reached that valuation.
You have gone on record to state that FC Pune City’s media value is the highest compared to the other ISL clubs. Does this mean that your sponsorship revenue was the highest as well?
The media value that our sponsors got as per a study made by Nielsen proved that we were the best in the ISL; not the highest sponsorship revenue. We were in the top four in terms of sponsorship revenue, but as per media value, we are number one. Our revenues couldn’t be the highest because we didn’t receive much from gate receipts, but media value is typically the visibility our sponsors got, that is, how many times it was flashed on television.
How do companies like Nielsen make these calculations?
They calculate, for example, if I would have done an ad, what would have been the cost for doing the ad. Say, if you’re doing a commercial, each brand, if you total up, if they had to do a similar exposure on television or other outlets, what they would have paid to get that kind of visibility. The ratio is basically how much they gave me as sponsorship and how much they got back from me. So that figure what they got from me is the highest in the ISL. In television, we are third or fourth, but everything else put together, because of the other coverage we offered, we went to number one. It’s cheers to our sponsors because it was a great return on investment as the club gave them back profits that were 10-12 times the original investment.
What is the club doing in order to ensure that its media value is the highest?
I think primarily, last season reaching the semis was a good thing for us. Secondly, our style of play was attractive so more people wanted to see us play as we had quality players like Marcelinho and Alfaro. Thirdly, I feel that we were the only club who invested so much in marketing and building our brand. A lot of clubs don’t need to do it as clubs like Kerala and ATK have an amazing reach because of the region they are in. Unfortunately, we are not in a region where it is a big footballing market. So for this we do so much of activation throughout the year that it’s unparalleled and probably the main reason for us getting the visibility we did.
You had shared the club’s business plans with Hindustan Times in September last year. A year hence, has any of it changed?
Broadly speaking, we were one of the highest loss making clubs then. We brought down our losses substantially, approximately by around 33 per cent over the last season and it was appreciated by the league. This was in spite of it being a longer season and we had the players staying with us for eight to nine months including pre-season. The travelling was also more as we had nine away games and an additional semi-final away leg, so the logistics obviously went up. We’re looking for more improvement, although it won’t be such a drastic jump as we’re restructuring a lot of things. We’ll be surely looking at a 10-15 percent cut in losses.
With the league increasing its duration from the 70-day competition, does that put added pressure on the club?
After this decision happened, everyone asked me whether my costs were going to go up. I said, “Yes they will, a little bit, but our revenues will also go up.” Now, when you talk about player costs going up, the kind of players who used to come for the 70-day league won’t come now. The difference now is we’re not seeking marquee players who can’t stay away from their family for too long. Those who are at the twilight of their career and play only one or one-and-a-half season, all that is changing. Now we’re seeing players looking at India as their base. A lot of foreign players are now even looking to stay in apartments. Also our player wages will only be marginally increasing as we’ve retained a lot of players.
Why didn’t Ranko Popovic stay on as the manager?
It’s not that we didn’t want him on board, Yes, Ranko has great relations with the club. Personally he’s a great friend. Even today we have a lot of mutual admiration and respect for each other. He did a very good job for us last season and while he looks very assertive on the pitch, he’s a great guy off it and very pro-fans, which is wonderful. He’s a thorough gentleman. When he left, he was looking for better career prospects as it would have been a better move for him personally going forward. The only way we could have convinced him to stay would have been difficult on budgets. I wouldn’t say it was huge money that he asked for, but he had opportunities of career progression at that point which he was looking at then, so we thought it would be difficult to hold him back.
First Published: Sep 12, 2018 16:23:09