With the Indian Premiere League (IPL) taking over the recently concluded ICC T20 championship, the cricket fever is here to stay. Not only are the cricket lovers excited about this extended cricket season, but so are brands that have found a great marketing platform in IPL.
Among the brands and categories that have chosen to use the IPL franchise to target consumers, the start-up industry is at the forefront, especially the ‘Food-tech startups’, which are rolling out special discounts to woo customers.
Since food as a category has an inherent mass appeal, the business opportunity in this segment is also immense. This is also the reason behind hordes of entrepreneurs rushing into the food-tech space.
Websites and apps like Zomato, Foodpanda, Faasos and Swiggy have launched various campaigns to cash in on the cricket season. For instance, start-ups like Faasos rolled out 20% cashbacks on food orders, whereas Foodpanda offered 25% discount on selected restaurants. Mailers and SMSes were sent out to regular users informing them regarding these offers. Social media was also used to promote these offers and conduct contests where winners are ensured of food vouchers and discounts.
“When you watch a sport, you tend to eat. It's a simple consumer truth. This insight manifests itself as a huge opportunity for us at Zomato, both for search & discovery and online food ordering during big ticket sporting events,” said Pramod Rao, SVP- Growth at Zomato.
Rao further elucidates, “The recently concluded T20 World Cup was one such opportunity that we leveraged in a variety of ways. We created the World Cup Live Screenings collection to allow our users to find places where they could watch the match live. But it was an even bigger opportunity for the online ordering business. Our strategy was to target big match days with contextual communications to our existing user base. We also built the supply side by working closely with our restaurant partners to curate exclusive World Cup offers and combos. These efforts paid rich returns with over a 40% growth rate in order volumes in the month of March. In fact during match times (evenings) our order volumes grew by more than 70-80%.”
With Indian cities being represented in the IPL and with the league being presented as a carnival, food-tech platforms and restaurants are capitalizing on specific teams and matches, providing discounts based on the teams that play.
And with quirky digital posters and social media marketing, these food-tech brands are pulling out all stops to leverage the IPL franchise. “With the huge success of the World Cup, we expect the IPL to be an equally big opportunity,” adds Rao.