The seventh season of the Indian Premier League is set to start on April 16, with the first 20 games to be held in the UAE and the remaining 40 to be held in India (between May 2 and June 1). OOH agencies say that the IPL season causes a disruption in the business, with advertisers keener onelectronic and print media to exploit the high visibility the popular tournament generates. In fact, citing the same reasons, Sanjeev Gupta, MD, Global Advertisers expects OOH spending to drop by almost 30 per cent during the IPL season.
Another reason that could have an effect on spending this season is the fact that 20 matches are being held outside the country. “Spends on OOH will logically be less as brands will not see enough value. Even when the IPL returns to the country in May, the window available is very small,” said Balakrishna P.M, COO, Allied Media, a media planning agency.
Rajneesh Bahl, CEO, Percept OOH also agreed that most advertisers do prefer to go “on-air”. However, he pointed out that OOH spends from the IPL governing body itself as well as the various franchises should also be taken into account. “They (franchises and IPL) know that outdoor gives them a great option to create buzz around the tournament. So, even when revenue from other advertisers decreases, OOH does help,” he said.
Sunder Hemrajani, MD, Times Innovative Media, also agrees that franchises do use OOH extensively for their campaigns. According to him, though brands spend substantially on TV and print, interest in properties around stadiums picks up during the IPL season. “We have usually seen that our properties around the stadiums in metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore do well during the IPL season, but, overall, OOH does take a hit during this period,” he added.
On a more hopeful note, Atul Shrivastava, COO, Laqshya Media,believes with the controversies surrounding the IPL this season, maybe brands would be hesitant about being associated with it. “A lot of advertising budget is consumed by the IPL every year. Since it has started, the OOH industry has suffered from low interest during this period. With limited budgets, clients will obviously give more preference to TV and print advertising rather than OOH. I cannot predict but, if advertisers reduce spending on IPL this year because of the various issues, then those budgets might get diverted to OOH spending. Maybe then things will be different this year,” he said.