For IPL the marketing spends on digital & TV will be 70:30: Vikrant Mudaliar, Dream11

Mudaliar, CMO, Dream11 says sporting leagues have realised the importance of how fantasy sports in particular increase fan engagement & drive higher stickiness

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Published: Mar 22, 2019 9:26 AM  | 4 min read
Vikrant Mudaliar

Last week, BCCI announced Dream11 as an official partner for the upcoming Indian Premium League season kick starting tomorrow, March 23. The association will be of four years. Additionally, the official fantasy game of the IPL will also be powered by the fantasy gaming platforms. The gaming platform will help increase the popularity of the game amongst cricket fans online. 

exchange4media spoke to Vikrant Mudaliar, Chief Marketing Officer, Dream11 on their long term association and the kind of ROI the brand is expecting from this partnership. 

Mudaliar said their association with IPL till last year was extended only to advertising, this year it will bring more brand visibility along with live broadcasting. “We have seen a great fit where a tournament like IPL has a maximum growth. Last year, we witnessed significant growth Pre vs Post IPL and, we are anticipating that level of growth to happen this year as well. Therefore, from a ROI perspective, we are extremely confident that it will justify in terms of a marketing spends we are allocating for IPL tournament. There are different ways to look at ROI, whether it is an improvement or in overall Brand Health Metrics, market share or acquisition of customers. All of these will see significant increase so that’s how we will measure the ROI,” Mudaliar explained.

Sharing, what kind of marketing mediums the brand will opt to communicate to its target audience? He replied, “Our significant amount of spends have been on digital mediums. In the last 12 months, we also have started using TV medium for the advertising. Majority of spends will be on digital, it will be largely split into two buckets, what we called as ‘Performance and brand advertising’ and Television. For this period, the ratio of digital and TV will be 70:30.”

The brand has not restricted itself to just IPL in fact, it has partnered with ICC, ISL, PKL, NBA and others.

When quizzed, was it a pre-planned strategy and how successful it has turned for the brand, Mudaliar stated, “Yes, It is a conscious strategy to try and partner with like- minded sports league. IPL is the latest addition. That’s part of an overall strategy; we are talking to the same user base, who is interested in sports. All the leagues have realised the importance of how fantasy sports in particular increases fan engagement and drives higher stickiness to their own Sports Leagues for the tournaments. It is highly synergetic in nature and has a symbiotic relationship between sports league and fantasy sports platform.”

“There was a lot of research done by us and the data suggests whenever a particular Sports League gets offered on a fantasy platform, there is a higher level of engagement that tends to give overall benefits to sports ecosystem. Such associations have worked well for us and will continue to seek more partnerships in the future,” he added.

According to him, the fantasy sports category in India has grown excessively in the last four years, “We currently have a user base of 52 million, although the category has become competitive with the entry of more players but we still have a predominant market share, close to 90 per cent. The digital infrastructure is one of the reasons where fantasy sport is increasing; the high internet penetration has helped the category. Consumers are becoming familiar to apps; there is an overall momentum in the ecosystem. The emergence of Sports Leagues not just cricket but other games has increased. Though, cricket still dominates the lion’s share as far as sports viewership and consumption in India but other sports league have also contributed to the overall growth in the fantasy ecosystem.”

As far as reach across geographies is concerned, he defines, “IPL season gives maximum reach, and we are deeply integrating with the IPL, which is set to grow from its 1.4 billion TV impressions and 200 million online viewers in 2018. This will also help Dream11 to achieve their goal of growing their customer base from 51 million users to 100 million users in 2019.”

In a 2018 IFSG-AC Nielsen survey report, India has almost 300 million sports fans who consume cricket online. Fantasy Cricket is also the most widely played online fantasy sports game, the survey reported.

“In terms of Sports Leagues and cricket, nothing is bigger than IPL globally. In Indian context, the partnership works very well for us. The brand exposure will happen through various touch points,” he concluded.

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