Chennai Super Kings (CSK) superlative performance in the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) has set the high-profile franchise on course to becoming India's first sports team to achieve a market valuation of one billion US Dollars and get the label of a "sports unicorn", according to a Business Standard report.
The franchise may even surpass its parent India Cements' market capitalisation.
CSK is the only sports team in India to have its shares exchanging hands in the grey market. The win at IPL-14 in Dubai on October 15 has resulted in a meteoric rise in its valuation.
The franchise's m-cap stands at 4,200 crore INR at present, almost double when compared to an m-cap of 2,465 crore INR six months back. In comparison, the shares of India Cement, CSK's parent company, were trading at 214.40 INR per share with an m-cap of around 6,644.20 crore INR, the Business Standard reported.
N Srinivas, MD of India Cements had also told the publication that CSK's mcap would soon exceed that of his firm as he felt franchise-based leagues, like the IPL, would flourish in the country.
In fact, brand CSK is actually helping the image of India Cements, said another expert.
"Brand CSK will outgrow Brand India Cements. If you look at the history of franchise-based leagues in the US, it will outgrow everything. Passion for cricket is so much in India. The road between countries will see franchise-based leagues getting the precedence as we go along," Srinivasan was quoted as saying by Business Standard.
Another expert described CSK as a "robust" brand that was also helping India Cements with its branding. An example of this was seen at India Cements' 75th Anniversary celebration when CSK players met the cement manufacturer's top brass. At the event, Srinivasan quipped that CSK was bigger than India Cements despite it being present for 75 years. He added that the CSK outdid his firm in "no time" and credited skipper M S Dhoni, who is also India Cements' Vice President.
Srinivasan gives the credit of the team's success to captain MS Dhoni, who is also India Cements' Vice-President.