The Indian Premier League (IPL) makes headlines not just for the adrenaline rush that the sport format offers but also for being every marketer’s dreamland, primarily owing to its proven success of the previous nine seasons and also the current one.
Brand custodians over the decade have realised that IPL is one of the few platforms that ensures effective brand amplification and better returns. It’s precisely why the exorbitant ad rates don’t deter some of the most prestigious brands from getting associated with the IPL.
Brand success stories
While the IPL has become India’s most eminent sports tournament and also one of the most iconic sport brands, evolution of the Yes Bank brand too has been exponential after its association with the league. In 2012, Yes Bank was a small-medium bank – it had just entered the second phase of growth and was focused on diversifying away from the ‘corporate bank’ image, in a sector dominated by both domestic and global heavyweights. However, the buzz created by all-pervading branding across the IPL, properties like ‘Yes Bank Maximum’ and taglines like India bole Yes!, have aided the brand in becoming a household name across sections of society.
A few key metrics which substantiate the growth, recall and relevance of the Yes Bank brand over the five years of its partnership with the IPL are as follows:
· Media Value delivered by IPL for YES BANK in India--- 2013: INR 118.66 crore, 2014: INR 143.35 crore, 2015: INR 167.77 crore, 2016: INR 274.36 crore and 2017: INR 58.12 crore (1st 20 matches)
· Total Brand Awareness: March 2013: 72% (Nielsen Study), March 2017: 93% (Kantar Millward Brown Study)
· Social Media: Key Stats for IPL 2017 (till mid-season): Over 100 Million Impressions of IPL content (created by Yes Bank) across cricket fans and enthusiasts on the platforms. Over 20 million video views on ‘Yes Bank Maximum Sizes Highlight Videos’.
Speaking about the branding success that Yes Bank has witnessed ever since the beginning of its association with IPL, Rajat Mehta, Senior President & Country Head – Brand & Retail Marketing, Yes Bank, said, “This is the fifth year of Yes Bank’s partnership with the IPL – this is quite easily the biggest and most visible branding exercise that we undertake during this two month period each year. Over the past five years, the branding across TV, On Ground (venues), our Branches and Online, has provided a huge fillip to the Yes Bank brand and I have reason to believe that both the brands have grown in tandem during this period.”
Talking about telecom giants such as Vodafone and Jio, both brands have benefitted immensely from their IPL association. Vodafone with its ‘Superfan’, ‘Supercheer’ and 'Zumis' initiatives is leading the race while Jio is highly noticeable with its on-ground and off-ground activations and campaigns.
Chinese smartphone maker Vivo's association with IPL has been a big success too. The Chinese smartphone maker leapfrogged its market share to 6.6%, making it the fourth-largest handset player in India, proving once again how IPL is helping brands leverage their market potential.
Underlining the definitive impact which IPL manages to create for its sponsors, Jayati Singh, Vice President-Marketing for Cooking Appliances and Sewing Machines, Usha International, stated, “Our long-term commitment for the 4th consecutive year with Mumbai Indians was a strategic brand initiative towards connecting with people across all age groups, genders, and income groups. This association has had a positive impact in terms of the Usha brand visibility and recall and therefore we have extended our association by another year.”
While IPL might have given marketers a dream platform, the absence of competitive leagues with similar appeal further adds to IPL’s long standing promise of guaranteeing maximum brand exposure. The monopoly of sorts is here to stay and more brands are likely to experiment with this format and add to the long list of sponsors who have witnessed the magic of IPL.
Summing up the cult status that IPL has achieved when it comes to helping brands amplify their reach, Harish Bijoor, Brand-expert & Founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc., says, “IPL is a great brand-star to hitch your ‘brand-wagon’ to. This has been proven yet again with IPL 10. The eyeballs of cricket cannot be matched by any other sport (in India). Further, IPL is the icing on the cake of the game of cricket as far as viewership, involvement and passion is concerned. Therefore, this property clicks for brands. I'm sure that’s the Vivo, Vodafone and Yes Bank experience.”