Cricket-based mobile game company PlayUp, which had launched three SMS-based quizzes for the ICC Cricket World Cup, is launching a new product for the Indian Premier League (IPL) and will invest heavily in marketing for the tournament.
Rajat Kulshrestha, CEO, PlayUp India, said that the audience and engagement numbers during the ICC World Cup were very positive, with the company seeing around 40,000 SMSes per inning, which went up during the quarter finals of the World Cup. He went on to say that PlayUp would be launching its TVCs for the IPL soon and would also be running a continuous engagement campaign.
He further said, “We will be spending Rs 5-7 crore on marketing for the IPL, of which we’ll be spending 45 per cent on digital, around 30 per cent on TVCs and radio, and the remaining 25 per cent will go to outdoor.”
The digital spending for the IPL would go largely towards Facebook and Twitter, but the company would also create display advertising and microsites to reach out to users in an intelligent manner, he added.
With the World Cup having ended just recently, Kulshrestha felt that some amount of cricket fatigue would be in place, so brands looking to maximise interaction around the IPL must make a more concerted effort than before. He noted, “The fact that India won the World Cup has generated a lot of excitement, which is something we saw with our own game as well, but right now, people are feeling fatigue, we believe. We think that they still want to revel in India’s win, not get into cricket again right away, so the right kind of marketing is very important right now.”
At the same time, he felt that the IPL was a stronger marketing opportunity than the World Cup. He said, “We are launching a new product for the IPL and will be marketing it heavily, and are also associated with the Pune Warriors and the Deccan Chargers teams, to try and promote viewership and engagement from our platform. The IPL is an annual event, unlike the World Cup, which comes once every few years, and given the importance of cricket in the Sub-continent, a tournament like the IPL gives advertisers a continuous engagement opportunity – we’re running our campaign for the next 59 days, but we’ll be keeping some activity up until next year, when the IPL comes around again.”
PlayUp is an SMS-based mobile game, which gives users a chance to test their cricket knowledge by making guesses about anything – from the number of runs in an over to answering quizzes, which also connects with one’s friends using the service. Kulshrestha said that the company was also looking at launching new products once the IPL ended, which would be designed for use in high-end phones to expand on the social aspects of watching sports.
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He joined the company in 2016 as Head of India and South Asia at Discovery Network