Season 8 of Indian Premier League (IPL) is seeing strong brand pull with respect to league as well as team sponsorship. Almost the entire inventory on-air inventory of IPL 8 was sold out almost two weeks prior to the start of the tournament (IPL sells 100% inventory; adds 3 new sponsors). Even on-ground the tournament was expected to rake in a good Rs.250 crore with several new brands coming in addition to the brands which were present earlier on the tournament (IPL expected to rake in an estimated Rs.250 crore from on-ground sponsorship).
Brand spends on IPL
The main on-ground sponsors for IPL 8 include PepsiCo which brought the title sponsorship rights for Rs.397 crore from 2012 to 2017. In addition to this, Pepsi is an associate sponsor on-air. Associate sponsorship this season is expected to be in the range of Rs.30-40 crore. The cola brand is estimated to be spending around Rs.110-120 crore on IPL 8 through these sponsorships this season. In the previous edition of IPL on the other hand, it hadn’t taken any special on-air sponsorship rights and had less spent in comparison to this seasons IPL. In fact during a season earlier during IPL 6 it had taken presenting sponsorship rights on-air and was said to have signed a Rs.50 crore deal with MSM in addition to spending Rs.16-18 crore to associate with Mumbai Indians as the drinks partner according to media reports. This year it has upped its spends on IPL once again.
The other sponsors include Yes Bank, Hotstar.com and Vodafone. Vodafone this year will be spending 20% of its annual advertising budget on the IPL. It had signed a 5-year deal for on-ground sponsorship in 2013 that is said to be about Rs.35 crore per season according to media reports. Vodafone continues to be the presenting sponsor for the IPL on-air since last season. On-air presenting sponsorship this year is estimated to come at a hefty price of Rs.60 crore. During the previous IPL season Vodafone is said to have shelled out Rs.55 crore for on-air presenting sponsorship rights. This would take its spends on IPL this year to around Rs.95-100 crore. During the previous IPL season Vodafone is said to have shelled out Rs.55 crore for on-air presenting sponsorship rights. However, as ad rates have grown, the spends for presenting sponsor has increased. This would take its spends on IPL this year to around Rs.95-100 crore. However, considering it has earmarked 20% of its marketing budgets on IPL this year, the spends this year will have increased.
Yes Bank has an on-ground deal for five years which began in 2013 too. The brand has also brought on-air inventory of the 4’s and 6’s on Sony SIX and Sony MAX. Yes Bank has also been doing various other activations around IPL such as IPL fan parks in 16 cities, cricket leagues for societies, and SMEs.
Though they did not divulge any details of their marketing spends on IPL, Rajat Mehta, President & Country Head, Brand & Retail Marketing, Yes Bank said that IPL was a significant part of their market budgets. He further said because they are doing 30-35% more in terms of activations, their marketing budgets have also increased since last year. The brand is doing much more than what it did during last season.
Star India on the other hand has on-ground sponsorship from BCCI for a 3-year deal in 2013 amounting Rs.70 crore say media reports. The deal amounts to Rs.18-20 crore per year. This year Star had been using the IPL to promote its digital platform Hotstar.com for which the branding can be seen prominently on the stadiums. This also made sense as it acquired the digital rights for IPL through subsidiary Novi Digital for Rs.302.2 crore in a 3-year deal. This new deal means it as increases its spends on IPL 8 in comparison to the previous season. Besides the acquisition of the digital and mobile rights of IPL from Times Digital, the broadcaster has also a few TV spots to advertise Hotstar during the tournament.
Other on-ground sponsors include McDowell’s No.1 as official umpire sponsor, who has also taken up inventory on-air in the form of activations such as ‘McDowell’s No.1 Fair Play Awards’. CEAT has been signed on as the official strategic time-out partner this year in a 3-year deal amounting to Rs.31.5 crore say media reports. This is the first time the brand has taken such a deal as it would mean a good Rs.10-12 crore per year.
E-commerce and m-commerce brands are also spending big on IPL this season. Paytm which is an associate sponsor for the IPL on-air said that it will be spending around Rs.50 crore on the IPL. This includes the 120 seconds of advertising time for the 60 matches during the tournament as well as inventory for action replay property. This would also include the spends on associating with the IPL team Mumbai Indians. This is a several fold increase in spends from the estimated Rs.5 crore that Paytm had spent on IPL last year.
ShopClues.com will be spending around Rs.15-20 crore on the IPL. The brand has associated with the team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as their official ecommerce partner. In addition to this they have also brought ad spots on Sony Max and Six. They have also done other marketing activations around the tournament.
Amazon which was the on-air associate sponsor during IPL 7 last year had spent almost Rs.25-30 crore. It has now increased its spends on IPL to an estimated Rs.60 crore for on-air presenting sponsorship. This is equivalent to a 100 per cent increase in ad spends.
“CSK is one of the most popular teams in the IPL and one of the most successful teams too. Through brand association we plan to create awareness for our company. Secondly because we are their official ecommerce partners we are selling CSK merchandise through our site and that boosts our sports category,” said Nitin Aggarwal, Senior Marketing Director, ShopClues.com.
Manisha Rana, Head of Marketing, MagicBricks.com says that it is a mass market brand and is the biggest platform right now in the country. “At this point in time for a month and half there is no other media property that can reach out to a vast number of people and the scale. So naturally IPL makes logical sense for our brand to associate with if the objective of the brand is to reach out to a large audience at this time period,” she said. Associate sponsorship rights are estimated to be Rs.30-40 crore.
Presenting sponsors for on-air is expected to be Rs.60 crore for IPL 8, while associate sponsorship is expected to be Rs.30-40 crore. Besides Vodafone, Amazon has taken up presenting sponsorship, while other than Pepsi, Paytm and MagicBricks as associate sponsors, the others include Hero MotoCorp, Vimal Pan Masala, Intex Mobiles, Cardekho.com, Raymond, Parle Products.
Brands spend big on team sponsorship
When it comes team sponsorship, UB Group is one company which spends big on IPL. The brand Kingfisher is one of the key sponsors for seven different teams on the IPL which include CSK, Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals, Bangalore Royal Challengers, Delhi Daredevils and Hyderabad Sunrisers. Kolkata Knight Riders has another UB brand Royal Stag. “United Breweries spends between 17 and 20 per cent of its annual advertising budget on the IPL. The company is increasing its overall advertising budget by about 10 per cent this year, so it will put a larger sum of money into the IPL in 2015,” says Gurpreet Singh, Asst. VP – Marketing, UBL. The marketing spends on IPL not only include TV spots but also social media and special activations such as the Kingfisher Bowl Out where people get to meet cricket stars.
The IPL teams franchise sponsorships have also seemed to rise and are estimated to have received Rs.300-350 crore in revenues from brand sponsorships. During IPL 7 it was just over Rs.250 crore for the eight teams. While some popular teams have closed in sponsorship deals of around Rs.30-35 crore and maybe a little higher considering the new brands still coming on board, there are other that have raked in revenues of Rs.20-25 crore. Teams such Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings are said to have increased their ad rates by 10-15% this season. In spite of this there have been several brands associations for these teams. Many of them are there in for the visibility that the tournament has to offer.
“As official partner, DCB Bank gains visibility in key Punjab markets such as Faridkot, Ferozpur, Jagraon, Jullundur, Ludhiana, Malerkotla and Nabha as well as key markets of Haryana, New Delhi/ NCR and Rajasthan in the north and Pune in the west. Associating with cricket, especially IPL and a leading team, will bring enormous visibility for brand DCBBank in important new markets,” says Praveen Kutty, Head Retail & SME Banking, DCB Bank who is an official sponsor of Kings XI Punjab team.
“We were looking at reaching out to the tier 2 and 3 markets, cricket as a medium cuts across through masses and that is why we wanted latch on to any cricketing opportunity. IPL as an added advantage falls bang at the season time so it helps us building awareness. So IPL is at the right time for us,” said Gaurav Malik, Director Marketing, Daikin. He further said that they have observed that sponsorships such as with teams tend to deliver better ROI than just advertising on television.
Sheetal Arora, MD, Mankind Pharma says, “Since IPL has become such a big brand over the years, any brand advertising on it can become a household name in 3 to 4 hours. We are targeting the youth which is more a male centric audience and if you go to any restaurant or pub around where this audience is, today you will only see IPL going on.”