FM stations bet big on IPL3; ad revenues estimated to increase over 10 pc

Like the last two years, this year too several IPL franchises have roped in radio partners to reach out to their audience. The ad revenues of FM radio partners are expected to see a jump of about 15 per cent this year. exchange4media speaks to a few industry players to get their view on IPL as a property and the advertising opportunities it provides.

e4m by Robin Thomas
Updated: Mar 23, 2010 8:24 AM
FM stations bet big on IPL3; ad revenues estimated to increase over 10 pc

Like the last two years, this year too several IPL franchises have roped in radio partners to reach out to their audience. The ad revenues of FM radio partners are expected to see a jump of about 15 per cent this year.

Apart from on-air campaigns, most of these FM stations are working on on-ground activities to promote the teams they have associated with. In fact, a whole spectrum of marketing and advertising opportunities has opened up with this home coming season of IPL.

exchange4media speaks to a few industry players to get their view on IPL as a property and the advertising opportunities it provides.

What they do:

My FM will continue with its last year’s on-air campaign, titled ‘Full On… IPL Deewangi… Phir Se!’. As part of the campaign, this year the FM station has featured properties such as live score updates, post match discussions called ‘Cricket Critic’, scorecards on team standings and an IPL campaign anthem. My FM also has on-air contests like ‘Toss Ka Boss’ and ‘Man of the Match’, which are slated to create a high level of engagement with listeners and at the same time help generate enough advertising opportunities.

Big FM creates a special IPL spike every year. This property covers all the happenings of the IPL season, team updates, match updates, contests to win tickets, watch screenings, win merchandise, on-ground opportunities, and so on. This year, the theme is ‘Masala Cricket’, that is, spicing up the IPL hype on the Big FM network. Besides this, Big FM also has cricket experts like former Indian player Arun Lal on air providing his views on each match.

Big FM has created official partnerships with Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers and have also created holistic activities around these, including ‘meet n greets’ with the players, team on air, contests to win tickets to the matches, live shows from the stadium, official merchandise, screenings, etc. All of these provide great opportunities for advertisers to latch on to.

Meanwhile, Radio City has created an on-air property that involves contests where tickets to the IPL matches are given out, ball-by-ball updates and an interesting character around cricket, who gives his take on IPL every day. This apart, with an aim to keep the fervour of game alive, some cities will be conducting a live cricket match between the RJs and listeners.

Even Radio Misty, which has its presence in Siliguri and Gangtok, has a lot of on-air and ground campaigns for companies. This is said to have generated good advertising revenue for the FM station. Every day, a quiz contest is held where RJs ask questions to the listeners and then distribute CDs of Shah Rukh Khan’s movies to the winners. On-ground activities are being carried out in colleges and schools. A mobile van is out on the streets and holding quiz contests on IPL and distributing gifts to the winners on the spot.

Another interesting initiative is from Radio Mirchi and MAX, the official broadcaster of DLF IPL, which aims to help its listeners triumph over any kind of inconveniences that keep them from reaching home to watch the match. This will only be on the first few match days with a variety of services. Radio Mirchi would also order pizzas for the listener. Mirchi listeners can also win free shopping vouchers/movie tickets. Radio Mirchi RJs would also speak to the listener’s boss if he does not let him leave early. This apart, Mirchi will send an extra TV set to facilitate enjoying the IPL in one’s own space.

IPL as a property:

According to Anand Chakravarthy, Senior Vice President - Marketing, Big FM, “IPL is a great opportunity for radio stations to engage with their listeners. Good radio stations are always aligned to the biggest consumer vibe at any point of time. Since IPL is the big vibe currently, we will use it to create exciting programming and marketing platforms for our stations. On the business front, advertisers are also looking for every possible opportunity to leverage during the IPL season. Therefore, an exciting radio property with on-air and on-ground also attracts high revenues. Overall it’s a win-win situation for both the IPL franchise, which gets a large amount of ‘free promotion’ on radio stations, and radio stations, which use IPL to engage with audiences.”

Ashit Kukian, COO and President – Ad Sales, Radio City, observed, “Lots of brands are using IPL for their promotion through brand associations, team associations and contests. Radio is an important medium to communicate and reach out to a larger audience. Keeping with the success of IPL, most participating brands have earmarked budgets for the property.”

Harrish M Bhatia, COO, My FM (Dainik Bhaskar), said, “IPL is an extremely important property for radio since cricket is hugely popular. My FM has been associated with IPL from day one. This year’s activities are at an even larger scale since IPL has gained so much popularity. My FM once again brings back all the excitement of this cricketing season to the airwaves.”

Nishant Mittal, CEO, Radio Misty, too, agreed that IPL was a very good radio property and said, “This format of game has got huge following in these three years and has also captured the attention of youths. Radio being a people medium, there is a lot of opportunity. This will be a major property for radio in coming years.”

Impact on advertising revenues:

Kukian of Radio City explained, “I believe the overall advertising revenues will definitely see an increase of 10-15 per cent on radio. Radio City will surely match the industry average and seeing the progress the brand has made in this space, we might even cross the benchmark.”

My FM’s Bhatia noted, “The third season of IPL is also seeing various teams roping in radio for team promotions, tickets and merchandise sales, etc, which will help in increasing the revenues over the last year in our markets.”

Mittal of Radio Misty said, “IPL is a great season for radio. Major FMCG, telecom and soft drinks companies have planned major events around IPL. This has given us good revenue as well. Local ads have gone up during these activities on-air and we are hoping to get better responses ahead.”

IPL has certainly opened up various opportunities for FM stations, especially advertising opportunities, wherein local advertisers and new brands can explore radio as a medium to reach out to larger audience and in a cost efficient manner.

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