More than the drive of the sport, it is the rationale of ‘spot investment, quick returns’ for many brands that are investing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) through spot buys. Set Max and Sony Six, the official broadcasters of IPL, have got eight sponsors on board, apart from Pepsi, which is the title sponsor.
Apart from this, many brands such as Flipkart, Airtel, Idea, Coke, and Samsung, among others, have invested in the tournament through TVCs, which can be seen during the broadcast of the matches. As per Rohit Gupta, President, MSM Group, the inventory rate for spot buys is between Rs 4.75 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. Analysts and some marketers that we spoke to mentioned that in the present scenario, where the tournament is in its first phase, it is likely that the broadcaster can be negotiated to agree for cut down by 15-20 per cent. (The rate is arrived through discussions and, therefore, may vary).
Gupta further said, “We have got very good response from the marketers. Everybody from the past is actively participating this year as well.”
However, brand consultants say that 70 per cent of the inventory, which is usually sold to sponsors, has not been achieved by the broadcaster and that spot buys are a key source of revenue this year.
In some other cases, some brands make their presence felt in between big branding of their competitor. For example, Flipkart and Amazon – while Amazon is one of the sponsors on board with Sony, Flipkart has bought spot buy ads.
As per consumer perception, it is believed that the brands that are the official sponsors of a property are large brands. On the other hand, brands that do not invest in sponsorship believe that they do not require massive branding and are there to communicate only a new idea/ product/ service/ offer.
Will the broadcaster increase the ad rates for spot buys as the tournament progresses? Last year, the spot buy ads had gone as high as Rs 15 lakh per 10 seconds. Planners believe that it would depend upon the situation at that point and cannot be predicted through contemporary assessments.
It is expected that major audiences are expected to come back to IPL post the elections. It would also depend upon the demand-supply ratio, which would eventually depend upon the intensity, excitement, and reach of the tournament. Last but not the least, it would also depend upon the credibility of the tournament as the Supreme Court continues to investigate the fixing and betting allegations against the BCCI. N Srinivasan, former BCCI chief, who was asked to step down from his post, is among the 13 people named in the IPL probe report.