Why VIVO IPL 2019 is most preferred league for advertisers?

exchange4media spoke to few official sponsors of VIVO IPL 2019 to know why the league is most appealing to advertisers and things to consider before entering into a partnership

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Apr 8, 2019 9:02 AM
Vivo IPL

IPL is not only the most favourite sports tournament of viewers, but of advertisers too. Over the years, we have seen brands competing against each other to steal the sponsorship deal and that’s why IPL is considered as the richest league in the entire country today. With Star India acquiring the IPL’s media rights last year at a consolidated bid of Rs 16,347.5 Cr, the league has come at par with the cash-rich leagues of the world like National Basketball Association (NBA) and the English Premium League (EPL).

VIVO IPL brought 20 brands on-board in various sponsorship categories. One of the main reasons why IPL viewership has seen a significant jump is due to Star’s massive regionalisation efforts wherein they are broadcasting the league into multi- languages making it reach to the length and breadth of the country. 

The 12th edition of IPL has seen a historical opening week in the tournament. The inaugural week of VIVO IPL 2019 recorded 283 million viewers tuning in across the country, which is 15 per cent higher than last year. Television viewership reached 33.1 million average impressions registering a growth of 28 per cent setting a viewership record in the history of the tournament.

The one- month long format of IPL is such that it gives an opportunity for advertisers to harness it completely. Brands desire not to miss it. We spoke to few official sponsors of the IPL to understand their views.

In India, there are many sporting leagues, ICC World Cup is also not too far away, seeking that it happens once in every four years. So, among all the sporting leagues in India, what makes IPL the most favourite sports tournament?

According to Vivek Srivatsa – Head, Marketing, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, “The IPL enjoys a notable fan following across the country and dominates the media landscape for its entire duration. It cuts across demographics and brings different customer profiles together. The kind of resonance IPL enjoys with the wider populace coupled with the reach of its broadcaster, makes the league extremely appealing for marketers year on year. It provides a national platform for brand recall.”

“We appreciate sporting leagues gaining momentum across the country. Having said that, cricket is the biggest sport in our country right now and India is a global powerhouse of cricket. So, IPL gives the fans an opportunity to witness their favourite cricketers for over 8-10 weeks. The rise of T20 and our drop in our attention span obviously elevates the whole experience for a fan,” said a CEAT spokesperson. 

Srivats TS, VP, Marketing, Swiggy shares, “IPL offers the perfect opportunity for our brand to engage with consumers in a seamless manner. Unlike a lot of other brands for whom IPL is a great media vehicle, we believe that Swiggy is a brand that can generate a transaction and a great food ordering experience right when the consumer is viewing the match (on Hotstar) or the ads.”

According to BARC data, the reach of IPL is such that the Hindi Speaking Market (HSM) has grown 32 per cent and South 19 per cent versus last year. When the reach is such then how best a brand could leverage this IPL 2019 with key markets and target audience?

Srivatsa shared, “By associating with the IPL, brands can move from one destination to another, making themselves visible in the process. Starting last year, with Star India as the official broadcaster for the event has helped us increase our visibility with the help of their dedicated regional sports channels and their video-streaming platform Hotstar. This allows the associated brands to go very deep into each region, which makes IPL a highly marketable platform.”

He further added, “This year’s edition, one of our objectives is to rapidly enhance the awareness about our newly launched vehicle, ‘Harrier’. IPL gives us a platform to create a 360 degree marketing campaign through advertising and on ground activities, in-content integration, and many such opportunities during the entire period of the tournament to maximise reach and build brand recall.” 

CEAT spokesperson explains, “For a category like tyre, it’s a great platform to drive saliency. We believe our association as a strategic timeout partner helps us drive our communication on the big screen. IPL Fan park is yet another innovation that attracts massive audiences and we drive engagement in these parks through innovative activations that brings alive our brand.

Commented Srivats, “Our association with one of India's biggest television entertainment spectacle draws the attention of millions of cricket fans as it places us right where the consumer is present. As the leader in food delivery, Swiggy sees a strong month on month growth of orders. With the theme ‘what a delivery’, Swiggy successfully brought out the very strong connect between cricket and food. This year as well, we are keeping our motto very simple, allowing consumers the convenience of enjoying the cricketing action while Swiggy takes care of all their food needs. In what is probably a global first, Swiggy and Hotstar have come together to allow consumers to order food within the streaming platform without missing a moment of the action.  At Swiggy, we define the success of our association not just by business growth but also through brand and consumer love.” 

We asked, what are the key things advertisers’ looks for before getting into a sponsorship, to which Srivatsa replied, “There are various things to be kept in mind before entering into a sponsorship deal and it differs from brand to brand. Manufacturers today, need to keep improvising their marketing strategies and follow the principle of 3Cs: Communicate, Connect, and Consistency. Showcasing products in the right manner to customers and associating as sponsors with other brands or platforms which relate to their own brand ethos is important. This will not only enhance the brand, but also simultaneously align well with the rising aspirations of customer segments. The key to entering every customer’s mindset is to create worthy memories that translate into buying.”

“The first thing we look as an advertiser is the involvement of the property with the wider audience. IPL is a great example of that.  Other than this, how is the association helping CEAT as a brand in terms of various tangible and intangible parameters. A very important component for a brand like ours is also the kind of demographic that will be hooked on to the property and we believe IPL ticks all the boxes for us,” said a CEAT spokesperson.

Srivatsa feels, “At the onset, brands need to define their objectives both in terms of awareness and consideration. I would just like to conclude by saying - “It is not the largest spender that gets the most recall; it is the smartest approach to communication that works.”

Ashutosh Vallani, Co-founder, Beardo, the associate partner of Kings XI Punjab shared, “Visibility is one of the greatest factors that advertisers look before getting into a sponsorship.” 

Brands are persistently finding newer, unique and innovative ways to stand out in an ocean of other brands which helps increase the brand reach and recall value by leap and bounds.

When quizzed should brands try to ensure reach and increase viewership by limiting frequency and reduce duplication across all channels of advertising, Vallani replied, “Beardo being a growing brand, the frequency and duplication across channels helps to build a stronger recall value for the brand. However, it is important to cap the frequency of advertising so as to not irritate the consumer leading to negative connotations about the brand.”

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