Chennai Super Kings looks set to become India's first sports unicorn

With its fourth title win of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Friday, Chennai Super Kings may be all set to become possibly the country’s first ‘sports unicorn’, even surpassing its parent India Cements in market capitalisation, say experts. Chennai Super Kings' unlisted shares were trading at around Rs 135 each, taking its market capitalisation to around Rs 4,200 crore soon after the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) victory in the tournament, as compared with a value of around Rs 2,465 crore (Rs 80 per share) in April 2021. On Friday, India Cements stocks wer.....
With its fourth title win of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Friday, Chennai Super Kings may be all set to become possibly the country’s first ‘sports unicorn’, even surpassing its parent India Cements in market capitalisation, say experts.

Chennai Super Kings' unlisted shares were trading at around Rs 135 each, taking its market capitalisation to around Rs 4,200 crore soon after the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) victory in the tournament, as compared with a value of around Rs 2,465 crore (Rs 80 per share) in April 2021.

On Friday, India Cements stocks were trading at Rs 214.40 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange at a market cap of around Rs 6,644.20 crore. According to industry experts, CSK’s value on the unofficial market may well touch Rs 200 per share if the two new teams which will be part of the next IPL season are valued at around Rs 4,000-5,000 crore.

“On Friday, it was trading around Rs 135 per share. If the new teams are coming at a price of Rs 4,000-5000 crore, the retail price of CSK may shoot up to Rs 200. This may well become a Rs 8,000 crore company and a unicorn soon,” said Hitesh Dhankani, co-founder of Mumbai-based financial services firm Analah Capital.

In a recent interview with Business Standard, India Cements’ managing director N Srinivasan had also said that CSK’s market cap will be bigger than that of India Cements as franchise-based leagues will flourish in India.

CSK is the most consistent franchisee in the history of the IPL since the tournament began in 2008, winning 59.69 per cent or 117 out of 196 matches it has played so far.

CSK is converting itself into a robust brand. Valuation is there but no one will sell it. Because India Cements is the sponsor, CSK is also helping it (India Cements) in terms of its branding,” said Suhel Seth, founder and managing partner of Counselage India, a strategic brand marketing consultancy.

A proof of the cement major using the franchisee to raise its brand identity was the 75th anniversary celebration of India Cements on October 5 when CSK players mixed with top cement dealers and company executives. It was at this meeting that CSK captain M S Dhoni announced that he will be playing his farewell match in Chennai and will participate in the next IPL. Interestingly, Dhoni is also the vice president of India Cements.

Seth added that the brand may stand even if Dhoni retires because of the way it is being managed. “CSK has shown what all good brands are about – consistency, resilience and affection. Consistency in terms of performance, resilience in taking on teams owned by industrialists and affection as it moved beyond Chennai, becoming a nationally-loved team. Dhoni as brand ambassador always had a silent but killer instinct,” said Seth.

At the anniversary celebrations, Srinivasan acknowledged how CSK had ‘lifted’ the company. “I think India Cements is now known more for CSK even though it is 75-years-old. India Cements is a strong brand but CSK outdid it in no time and for that we have to thank only one person - our captain M S Dhoni,” he said.   


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