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Guest Column: Should your brand be on cricket? Navin Khemka

16-March-2015
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Guest Column: Should your brand be on cricket? Navin Khemka

2015 is here and this year promises to be exciting from the very beginning with two of the biggest cricketing events back to back - the World Cup 2015 followed by the homegrown  Indian Premier League. Billions of cricket crazy fans will be glued onto their screens .

The World Cup is but obviously the mother of all tournaments with all the 14 cricket playing countries getting together on one platform. In 2011, the ICC World Cup reached 631 million. This figure is higher than the voter turnout in 2014 general elections of 551 million people. Of the 49 matches being played India matches , marquee teams and quarterfinal onwards  make a total of 28 days of good cricket. With India wanting to defend its title and having spent the last 3 months in Australia just before the World Cup, we can say this is a clear advantage.

The IPL, on the other hand, has grown steadily from 101 million in 2008 to 190 million in 2014 on cumulative reach. New brands in the form of the teams have become household names. It is a great platform for young players who have suddenly found themselves rubbing shoulders with the best talent in cricket. The mega bucks are luring all the big names of international cricket. This ensures that the international talent pool on the IPL, will comprise of the best players available. The 20-over format only adds to this excitement and ensures that this game is packed with all the masala of a blockbuster. Not to forget the bollywood stars with their squads and smiles and cheerleaders !!

Clearly, they are events no marketer can ignore. Should my brand be on the World Cup or the IPL or both? Will it get the desired RoI? These questions become imperitive.

On Ground: For the World Cup, the ICC auctions it in blocks for 10-12 years. Brands with a minimum global /regional footprint can think of driving association on ground with it. IPL, on the other hand, gives the flexibility of looking at yearly deals.

On Teams:  National teams are driven by country cricket boards and ICC guidelines. This format and structure provides for less clutter for brands and the strict ICC rules protect sponsor brands against ambush marketing. Investments are high . IPL teams on the other hand, are under tremendous pressure to make ROI . Brands are fighting for attention. Advertisers should be cautious when it comes to access to teams, players, local activation etc.

On Air:The World Cup carries a far larger element of risk where ratings are concerned, as it is highly dependent on the performance of Team India.. IPL ratings will be consistent and given that we have 7 years of data. Ratings on World Cup on a good day can hit the roof . IPL ratings on the other hand will be fairly stable. Hence, World Cup for Impact and IPL for Consistency.

On Surround : A lot of brands also use the surround options available like news channels, sports pages , digital streaming and radio updates. Clearly, advertisers who are investing on the main event, this is a small additional investment to ensure that no competitive brand takes the association away . For smaller brands who cannot afford to be on the main event, this is a good opportunity to ride the cricket wave with limited investments.

There are multiple options which can be evaluated and a cricket strategy delivered. Being on cricket is not only a big daddy’s game in 2015. 

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