Kolkata:The Kolkata Knight Riders may have disappointed in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but King Khan's team is sitting pretty on one throne at least. They are certain to become the first team to post a profit in the first year of the tournament, and no it's not just because of Shahrukh Khan but also some very wise marketing decisions.
Shahrukh Khan has certainly been the owner that everyone would die to play for in the IPL. The gift-giving continued despite the fact that the Knight Riders only beat two top ranked teams in the tournament. Four of their six wins came against Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Average results though have certainly not translated into below-average bottom lines for Shahrukh's team. KKR as they are called, have bucked all industry estimates and will post a profit this year. And much of the credit for that goes to its owner bringing his personal sponsors on board.
This is how the math works out. Kolkata's main expenses are franchise fees of 31 crore a year, 20 crore on players and another 20 crore on other administrative costs. That makes their outflow about 71 crore.
What Kolkata gets back is about 24 crore from the share of TV rights money that the IPL got from SONY. About 15 crore of the central sponsorships like DLF and Vodafone and another 20 crore in gate receipts.
This is where the Shahrukh factor kicks in with sponsors like NOKIA, HDIL, Tag Heuer, Reebok, Belmonte, Anand Bazar Patrika, Zapak and, Hungama all ploughing in between 4-8 crore each for a total of about 32 crore. That drives the inflow up to 89 crore which makes the profit at least 16 crore.
Most of these figures are based on estimates and will probably change when the final balance sheet is done but Shahrukh is quite confident that he has made enough money to think of his venture as a success, so much so that he wants to plough back some of the profits into a Knight Riders academy in Kolkata.
"But I had actually miscalculated the Kolkata public. I thought we would make an X amount of money with the gate receipts that we get, I am very happy to say that we have twice that amount and even more so at the end of it all being in Kolkata sees us through this with a lot of comfort. So I thank Kolkata... it's only because of the crowds at the Eden Gardens," said Kolkata team's owner Shahrukh Khan.
The Bollywood Badshah gets much of the credit but plenty has to go to the marketing whizkids whom he hired, which included the head of a sports syndication company and a former head of production from ESPN.
Incidentally Rajasthan are the only other team that will break even in the first year but that's because they are the cheapest franchise, which bought the most economical players. Moreover, they have spent half of what Kolkata did on advertising.
Kolkata has beaten only 2 top-ranked teams
Kolkata won 6 games out of 14 in DLF IPL
Kolkata's total outflow is about Rs 71 crore
Kolkata spent Rs 20 crore on players
Kolkata: Franchise fees of Rs 31 crore a year
Inflow of Kolkata is about Rs 89 crore
Kolkata gets Rs 32 crore from sponsors
About Rs 24 crore comes from share of TV rights
Kolkata gets about Rs 20 crore from gate receipts
Rajasthan only other team expected to break even