How IPL’s non-live cricket show has become an attractive media investment for brands

Cricket Live has emerged as the highest-rated impact show versus GECs with its mix of ‘cricketainment’ programming across regional channels, making it a winning proposition for brands

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Aug 19, 2021 10:00 AM  | 5 min read
cricket live

In the build up to the second phase of the Vivo IPL 2021, advertisers are exploring new avenues and tapping a plethora of brand solutions to leverage the cricket frenzy that is an integral part of the tournament. Adding to the advertiser’s delight is Byju’s Cricket Live, introduced by broadcaster Star Sports to elevate every cricket fan’s viewing experience. The power of cricket in India is such that even those brand integrations that aren’t part of the live match garner a significantly higher reach and impact in comparison to other content genres on TV. This is what makes Cricket Live a highly effective proposition for brands looking to get in on the IPL euphoria. 

Best rated impact entertainment show

Cricket Live has, over the past few seasons, delighted fans with its pre and post-match content, featuring cricketing legends who analyse the game, share insights and enhance the viewing experience. The show has also established itself as a perfect platform for integrated brand solutions that ensure a more immersive experience for viewers. A wide gulf exists between content from the IPL and that of other genres when it comes to impact and reach.

Diversity of affordable, impactful brand integrations

Brands that associated with Byju’s Cricket Live alone received umpteen number of segment exposures on the show, resulting in significant jumps in overall awareness. As per data from BARC, sponsors on the show achieved a 4x-6x higher reach than sponsors of the top two GEC shows running during the tournament. With over 100 renowned cricket experts offering nuanced analysis into each fixture across languages along with cutting-edge technology, the show makes for compelling viewing while also allowing brands to seamlessly weave in unique integrations and engage viewers. 

A strong example of innovative brand integration on Cricket Live is auto manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki who wanted to maintain its dominance in the sector through a strong IPL association. What followed was a custom product integration for the brand with commentators in Cricket Live aired across eight feeds. Through this association, Maruti Suzuki gained unique visibility and high quality exposure during the season in 2019. 

From fan interactions and Bollywood integrations, to masterclasses and quizzes, Cricket Live offers a host of advertising solutions that allow brands to push the envelope with innovative integrations to suit their objectives. The show has already observed a 54% YoY growth in the number of participating brands from 13 in 2019 to 20 in 2021, a clear testament to the show’s effectiveness as an advertising platform. Another example of seamless brand integration came from legacy clothing brand Fabindia, the style partner for Cricket Live with all the experts on the show donned in its apparel. The brand recorded a commendable 40-50% growth over the same period in the previous year, as per its former CMO, Karan Kumar. What is noteworthy too is that Fabindia, which is not a traditional advertiser on cricketing properties, saw massive success despite its limited budgets through a powerful platform like Cricket Live.

How Cricket Live empowered brands with positive brand outcomes 

Star power, technological innovation and meaningful association lie at the forefront of Cricket Live’s success. Fashion accessories manufacturer Titan wanted to capitalise on the festive fervour during the 2020 season of IPL for Titan watches. Titan’s association with Vivo IPL 2021 helped the brand achieve 2.3x higher recall post the tournament. Ed-tech brand, Byju’s too upped its association with the IPL last year, claiming the title sponsorship for Cricket Live. Atit Mehta, Head of Marketing, Byju’s explained to exchange4media last season why the show is a good fit for the brand. “Star Sports has assembled some of the best known cricketers for this analysis, which provides fans with an expert view and sharp insights into the game. Byju’s is also an expert in the space of education and that’s what makes the property a natural brand fit. Within the show too, there are multiple elements and one of these is a segment that we have also branded – Byju’s Cricket Expert where a cricket expert will share his views on the current game, on which team looks most likely to win, etc. It only makes sense to have an expert in education, Byju’s partner with a show that provides an expert take on the game,” Mehta remarks. The brand has continued its title sponsorship in the 2021 season too. 

In the minds of viewers, brand associations with Cricket Live tend to create a perception akin to tournament sponsorship. One of India’s leading e-wallet brands enjoyed a significant boost from its Cricket Live association with a high number of consumers associating the brand with central sponsorship of the tournament. 

Given the depth of integrations, scale of reach, high attention during ad breaks and the high associative value of cricket, collaborations on Cricket Live promise great value to brands. This, coupled with a shorter event duration, allows for brands to take part in the IPL fervour at lower outlays than usual making it much easier to have IPL in their media plans for this festive season.

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