e-travel firms record 30% rise in bookings for IPL, World Cup records 50%

Due to the ongoing Indian Premier League, online travel brands saw 20% growth in sales this year whereas hotel bookings saw an approximate 15% rise in their bookings during match days

e4m by Shweta Raaj Singh
Published: May 9, 2019 9:01 AM  | 7 min read
IPL and Cricket world cup

It has been a win-win situation for e-travel firms like MakeMyTrip, Ixigo, Thomas Cook and Cox and Kings who have seen a surge in online hotel and travel bookings courtesy ongoing cricket festival Indian Premier League (IPL) which is in its last leg. While the top online travel portals have been busy marketing their brand on digital platforms, cricket fans combining the holiday season with much-awaited ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, starting on May 30 led to an estimate rise of 50% bookings for travel and hotel. 

According to online travel brands, the ongoing IPL's marketing strategy led to 20% growth in sales this year whereas hotel bookings saw an approximate 15% rise in their bookings during match days. Online travel brands like Ixigo, MakeMyTrip, Cox and Kings and Thomas Cook informed exchange4media about the record growth registered by their e-travel firms, rise in booking for ICC World Cup 2019, and the promotional offers done by them to gain traction.

Sharp rise in travel and hotel booking for IPL to host cities

Karan Anand, Head - Relationships, Cox & Kings explained how the online portal, Cox and Kings, Travel Company, witnessed a rise in booking with cricket fans indulging into leisure packages. “IPL is a big draw with fans and they follow their favourite teams to different destinations. This year Cox & Kings recorded 30% surge in travel bookings during IPL season during which cricket lovers travelled extensively to watch the matches. Most of them combined their tours with leisure packages with include accommodation with local sightseeing and other recreational activities. Some fans even opted for self-drive tours from the match venue,” he said.

When asked about the sales growth registered compared to last year, Anand said that Cox and Kings, sales grew 5% more than the last year. However, unlike the last year people booked the packages well in advance to avoid the last minute rush, he added. 

According to Anand not only there was a rise in sale of tickets the heritage sightseeing was well received by the fans. “Destinations around the match venues benefited the most by IPL. Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Aurangabad, Alibaug, Agra, Mysore and Puducherry were among some of the most visited destinations during IPL season,” quips, Anand.

Cox and Kings was benefited this IPL season owing to the special offers and tailor-made packages given to travellers. Anand says, “Hotel booking also recorded a rise in terms of booking. To avoid the last minute hassle, many people booked in advance this year. Tailor-made packages and special offers for travellers to different cities saw an upward sales growth trajectory. The demand for such packages surged by 20% during IPL season.”

Having believed that globally sports tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry and Indians are showing more enthusiasm than ever before for visiting a country to attend sports event, Vipul Prakash, COO, MakeMyTrip, said according to MakeMyTrip, Cricket is the first love for many Indians, the numbers continue to show an upward trajectory with more and more people traveling to watch the game, whether within India for IPL or overseas for mega events like the World Cup. “Cricket is a sport that appeals across socio-economic strata and traverses demographic and geographical barriers. ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is one of the biggest global events this year and it coincides with one of the busiest travel time for Indians during the summer holiday season. At MakeMyTrip, we have witnessed a growth of about 30% for the inaugural match between India and South Africa, for ICC World Cup 2019.” 

Shuchi Chawla, Head of Brand Marketing, ixigo said that the e-travel firm witnessed a huge surge in demand for people booking flights and hotel accommodation through their platform. Sharing the marketing strategy Ixigo adopted to reach to consumers, and advertised this IPL season, Chawla pointed, “ We noticed that the majority of fans who check IPL scores while traveling face issues due to low internet connectivity. Keeping this in mind, ixigo for the second year introduced an IPL scorecard on the home screen of its Trains App. With the IPL scorecard, travellers can check live scores while they are on the go, with ease. Through this feature, ixigo users are able to subscribe to notifications for their preferred match in order to receive live score updates even in low network areas. Android users can even access the scores in offline mode!"

According to Chawla, Ixigo recently conducted a travel trends survey which revealed that with the commencement of IPL 2019, there was a 20% increase in flight and hotel booking for host cities. “Our travel report also showed that 61% cricket fans from Urban India travelled to other cities to watch their favourite team play. 57% of these respondents are between the age bracket of 25-34. Most travellers opted for a 2 night/ 3 day trip, with solo travellers opting for single day packages to watch the upcoming final. Host cities saw an 18% increase in hotel booking growth during the IPL season."

Despite a spike in domestic airfares with Jet Airways being grounded, cricket fans went full throttle to cheer for their teams. Rajeev Kale, President and Country Head – Holiday, MICE, Visa, Thomas Cook (India) Limited said that Cricket has always been a significant powerful driver across their travel businesses. “This year too we have seen a strong surge with our sales teams reporting an impressive 36% increase in demand in comparison to the previous year- with the twin bonanza of IPL (till May 12, 2019) and the World Cup in the UK (May 30- July 14, 2019).”

“What is noteworthy is that the uptake in demand is not restricted to just the metro venues like Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata but also mini metros like Jaipur and Mohali. Last week’s Chennai match saw a surge in demand by over 32%. With ETA enabled tourist visa-on-arrival (TVoA) for foreign nationals from 59 countries,  impromptu travel plans for events like the IPL is made more convenient and hassle free thus ensuring smoother execution,” added Kale. 

For Brag Value - cricket fans set to travel to UK, online travel portals record over 50% sales 

The powerful “brag value” of having watched a match in UK’s London, Manchester, Birmingham or Leeds is clearly working its magic; and this is reiterated via the innumerable posts and pics flocking social media. To witness the high octane drama, when the cricket fervour would reach its pinnacle and men in blue would perform this ICC Cricket World Cup, e-travel firms have already received queries and registered 50% sales growth. 

Given that cricket is a passion if not a religion for most Indians, Kale said that they continue to receive bookings for the World Cup not just from the corporate world (contributing over 50%), but also from millennials (18%), ad hoc groups of friends and family (25%) and also the discerning luxury traveller (5%). “Interestingly, we’ve been able to leverage our corporate travellers by converting them into b-leisure consumers by extending a business trip or even a transit point (London/Manchester) to a cricket holiday with spouse and family or friends via our ‘City Breaks’,” added Kale. 

According to Prakash, the online portal witnessed about 50% of growth in travel booking for the third week of June when Team India is playing three important matches including the one with Pakistan. “We have specially curated packages available for Indians travelling to London around the World Cup and have an array of special deals and discounts in partnership with various banks available on our platform.” 
According to Prakash, there has also been a shift in the interest for other sporting events like the Soccer World Cup or the Olympics. “We saw a significant uptick for travel to Russia last year during the Football World cup and this trend is likely to register strong growth.”

On the other hand, Aloke Bajpai, CEO & Co-Founder, ixigo pointed out that UK can expect an increase of 15-20 % of Indian tourist arrivals during the World Cup season this year. “We have experienced a 27% increase in the number of enquiries for that period. Fans are spending anywhere between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for their trip. Bookings are expected to go up by 50% YoY and hotels will also see 100% occupancy just ahead of the World Cup. From the past trends, majority of the travellers are males between the age group of 20-30 , travelling in small groups.”

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Jio to stream IPL for free in 11 regional languages

The app is expected to sell inventory, not only on impressions but also as 10-second slots, the way it is sold on TV

By Naziya Alvi Rahman | Jan 10, 2023 8:21 AM   |   2 min read

IPL

In a move that is likely to be a game-changer for IPL this season, Sports18 is believed to have decided to air IPL free on the Jio app, taking its reach to over 500 million users. As part of its strategy to take TV head-on, the app is expected to sell its inventory, not only on impressions but also as 10-second slots, exactly like how it is sold on TV.

Sources in the industry claimed the pitch by Sports18 is concentrated around four points. Unlike Disney+ Hotstar, the matches will be available free on the Jio app and that too in 11 different languages, including Bhojpuri, Tamil and Bengali.

Coming to the pricing, Sports18 is believed to have marginally slashed its rates to attract diverse advertisers. “They are playing on reach and mass. They claim to reach 500+ million subscribers and no match is behind any paywall. They want to connect with newer advertisers who have always aspired to be associated with IPL but did not have the means. Also, the legacy brands will nevertheless continue their association,” said a senior media planner.

Echoing the views, another senior media expert said: “They may just start with a lower slab and later increase the rates depending upon the response they may get going forward. It’s always smart to play the mass game,” he added.

The digital player is also believed to be banking on the growth of connected TV. “Most people, particularly in the cities, have smart TVs and may prefer installing the Jio app over investing in a package. Hence, this will bring you IPL for free on your big screen as well," the expert noted.

Sports18, when contacted for comments, neither accepted nor denied the claims.

Early last year, Viacom18 (Sports18) bagged the IPL digital rights for the Indian subcontinent for a whopping sum of Rs 20,500 crore, which amounts to Rs 50 crore per match.

“They have a huge sum to recover and so they are looking at different possible ways to sell their game. Being the debutant in the domain they want to play safe yet aggressive,” said another senior industry player.

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Women's IPL: Media rights auction on Jan 16

Broadcasters like Disney+ Star, Sony-ZEE and Viacom18 are reportedly in the fray for the rights

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 9, 2023 12:10 PM   |   2 min read

women's ipl

The media rights auction for the highly anticipated Women's IPL will be held on January 16, as opposed to January 12 as reported before.

The auction will see participation from big broadcasters such as Disney+ Star, Sony-ZEE and Viacom18who will reportedly submit their bids on the said date. The bidding will reportedly be a closed process with the best bidder bagging the rights.

"Any interested party wishing to submit a bid is required to purchase the ITT. However, only those satisfying the eligibility criteria set out in the ITT and subject to the other terms and conditions set out therein, shall be eligible to bid. It is clarified that merely purchasing this ITT does not entitle any person to bid. The BCCI reserves the right to cancel or amend the bidding process at any stage in any manner at its discretion," BCCI stated.

The country has been waiting with bated breath for the inaugural edition of the tournament to be held in March 2023. Given the popularity of women's cricket in India, the event is touted to be a big draw for all stakeholders involved, especially for broadcasters.'

e4m previously reported that the cricket board is expecting to earn Rs 8-10 crore per match and around Rs 160-200 crore from the 20 matches in the tournament, from media rights, sources closed to the development told e4m. BCCI is set to earn about Rs 107 crore per match in the men’s IPL from 2023 onwards. 

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Brand Mumbai Indians valued at $83 million: Report

According to Brand Finance, Mumbai Indians has nearly doubled its brand value over the years with a 99% growth since 2009

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 28, 2022 1:09 PM   |   1 min read

MI

Mumbai Indians has been valued at $83 million by global brand valuation agency – Brand Finance. According to the report, Mumbai Indians has registered a 4% spike as compared to 2021. 

The five-time IPL Champion has a mix of marquee and global brands on board, including DHL, TeamViewer, Cadbury Dairy Milk along with Slice. According to Brand Finance, Mumbai Indians has nearly doubled its brand value over the years with a 99% growth since 2009. This reflects the trust and strong brand partner portfolio of the franchise with brands having a high pedigree, which is not restricted to geographies. Its associations have also evolved with like-minded partners with whom Mumbai Indians has stitched long-term partnerships, unlocking maximum value for both brands.

Currently, Mumbai Indians has over 32 million fans across its social media platforms.

Notably, Mumbai Indians also emerged as the only brand to have registered a growth in 2020, unfazed by market slowdown and apprehensions amongst sponsors globally regarding investment in sports due to the pandemic.

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IPL Auction Live: Broadcaster, streaming partner set to make big money

While Star Sports is reportedly seeking Rs 35-40 lakh for a co-presenting sponsor slot, JioCinema is said to have priced its inventory at Rs 20 lakh

By Sonam Saini & Kanchan Srivastava | Dec 22, 2022 8:28 AM   |   2 min read

IPL

The Indian Premier League has grown into a decacorn within 13 years of its launch with sponsors and advertisers playing a big role in this journey.

Such is the craze for this sports property that even the live telecast of the players’ auction, slated to be held in Kochi this Friday, is set to make huge money for the broadcasters. IPL’s official broadcaster, Star Sports, and digital streaming partner, JioCinema, are selling ad inventory at premium rates. They have even onboarded a few sponsors for the live telecast. The list of sponsors even has an international bank, sources privy to the development have told e4m.

“Star Sports is seeking Rs 35-40 lakh for co-presenting sponsor of the live telecast. While associate sponsorship is priced at Rs 19-20 lakh, a spot buy is costing around Rs 11-16 lakh,” sources claimed.

Officials further said, “The broadcaster is also offering different packages for the auction day, ranging between Rs 12-18 lakh.”

JioCinema is reportedly seeking Rs 20 lakh for sponsorship packages, another source informed.

Queries sent to Star Sports remained unanswered till the time of filing this story. 

IPL media partners had been reigning in as sponsors in the past auctions as well, but their rates were not in this range, experts said.

In a historic auction held early this year, Disney Star acquired the rights to broadcast men’s IPL in the Indian subcontinent for Rs 23,575 crore ($3.02 Bn) for 2023-27, and Viacom18 grabbed the digital rights for the league with a bid of Rs 20,500 Cr ($2.57 Bn).

With $12 million per match, IPL is only behind the NFL as the world's 2nd most lucrative sports league.

Action at Auction

The IPL 2023 auction shortlist has 405 cricketers, including 273 from India. A maximum of 87 slots are up for grabs, with 30 to be filled by overseas players, BCCI has said.

Rs 2 crore has been set as the highest reserve price. While 19 overseas players have chosen to be slotted in the highest bracket, 11 players are with a base price of Rs 1.5 crore. Manish Pandey and Mayank Agarwal are the two Indian players on the list of 20 cricketers with a base price of Rs 1 crore.

The auction is set to start at 14:30 IST. Fans can watch the live streaming on JioCinema and the live telecast on Star Sports.

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IPL a 'decacorn' after crossing $10 billion valuation in 2022: Report

The value of the IPL ecosystem has grown 75% in dollar terms since 2020, D and P Advisory's 'Beyond 22 Yards' report

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 21, 2022 8:40 AM   |   4 min read

IPL

D and P Advisory announced the launch of a valuation report on one of the largest sporting events in the world- the Indian Premier League (IPL) for 2022. The report titled “Beyond 22 Yards” highlights that the value of the IPL Ecosystem registered a 75% growth since 2020, and now stands at USD 10.9 billion. In 2020, the IPL was valued at USD 6.2 billion. This valuation makes IPL a Decacorn (a business with a value of more than USD 10.0 billion) within 15 years of inception. The IPL Ecosystem represents the value generated by the IPL as a business.

A landmark event this time was the auction of the IPL media rights for 2023 to 2027. For the first time, media rights were spread among different broadcasters, breaking the monopoly of one company. The league has sold media rights at USD 6.2 billion, registering a three-fold jump compared to the previous 5-year cycle in 2017. Additionally, the tournament in 2022 also registered a record-breaking combined viewership of 426 million on television and OTT platforms.

With two new teams (Gujarat Titans and Lucknow SuperGiants) getting bought last year at a combined staggering value of USD 1.6 billion, the average price tag of a team has seen a whopping 16-fold jump from its inception. These two factors were instrumental in boosting the valuation of IPL to become a Decacorn and the second-largest sporting league (on a per-match basis from broadcasting fees) globally.

To add to the momentum, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the launch of the Women’s Indian Premier League with a base price for a franchise at INR 400 crores (USD 50 million). This price is higher than most other cricket leagues globally and will add immense value to the overall IPL Ecosystem.

However, on a broader scale, IPL is significantly behind in terms of ad rates, when compared with some of the other global sporting leagues. For example, a 10-second slot for an ad during IPL 2022 cost nearly USD 20,000; whereas, the ad rates for the same time slots at National Football League, English Premier League and Major League Baseball were over USD 1,00,000. Drawing this comparison, the report mentions how IPL has a lot more space to grow in the future provided broadcasters are able to monetise the content well.

On the launch, Santosh N, Managing Partner, D and P Advisory says, “Since its launch in 2008, IPL has reimagined the nation’s cricket competition. IPL 2022 witnessed some major milestones and captivating games throughout the season. The renewed media rights deal was a major contributor towards a substantial jump in value for a relatively young league like IPL. These observations are an assurance of the fact that the IPL will continue to revolutionise the game of cricket and will be etched in the hearts of millions of fans for years to come.”

The report goes on to say that the IPL team owners are looking to replicate the multi-club ownership model as part of their long-term strategy. For example- The Knight Riders Group owning the right to Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League, and a franchisee of the UAE T20. It also has plans to build cricket stadiums in Los Angeles, USA, in partnership with the Major League cricket. Reliance Industries, the owners of Mumbai Indians, recently unveiled two new franchises in UAE’s International League T20 and Cricket South Africa T20 League.

Furthermore, with BCCI having forged and locked in new broadcasting deals for the next five years, the report foresees a more stable phase in terms of the value of the IPL Ecosystem. “The value appreciation may not be as fast as seen in the earlier years”, it states.

The report also states that digital rights being sold separately from TV rights would result in greater engagement on digital platforms. Further, the impending introduction of 5G services, greater penetration of the internet and increased smartphone usage will add to the rise in viewership.

The report concluded by stating that for these growth trajectories to maintain their momentum, all teams need to continue broadening their footprint, forming relationships, and generating revenue opportunities in different markets. Ultimately, apart from the love for cricket that viewers have, much of cricket’s future depends on ensuring quality; not just for the fans, but also to attract sponsors and broadcasters, the latter of which has become vital for the game’s financial health.

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Women’s IPL: Better to sell media rights before franchise auction, says IPL Chairman

BCCI has not set any base price for the Women's IPL rights

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 20, 2022 10:17 AM   |   1 min read

Women's IPL

IPL Chairman Arun Dhumal has said that selling media rights for Women's IPL before conducting the auction for franchises will help prospective team buyers get a better perspective of the possible revenue, media networks have said.

The BCCI has not set any base price for the Women's IPL rights and is waiting for the markets to set the price, Dhumal was quoted as saying.

BCCI is expected to earn about Rs 107 crore per match in the men’s IPL from 2023 onwards.

Click here for our earlier report.

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BCCI invites tender for media rights to Women’s IPL 2023-2027

As per reports, the inaugural edition of Women's IPL is likely to be played from March 3 to 26

By exchange4media Staff | Dec 12, 2022 10:29 AM   |   1 min read

IPL

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has announced the release of 'Invitation to Tender for Media Rights to the Women’s Indian Premier League Seasons 2023-2027’.

The IPL Governing Council has invited bids to acquire the media eights for Women’s IPL through a tender process.

The Invitation to Tender (ITT) will be available for purchase till December 31, 2022, a communication by Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, BCCI, says.

According to reports, the inaugural edition of women's IPL is likely to be played from March 3 to 26, 2023.

 

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