IPL 7: E-commerce companies bet big on sponsorships

While Amazon has invested in associate sponsorship and has also partnered with Sunrisers Hyderabad, Flipkart is aggressively buying ad spots. Apart from sponsoring Delhi

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: Apr 30, 2014 8:49 AM
IPL 7: E-commerce companies bet big on sponsorships

One sector that has invested heavily in IPL-7 for the first time is the e-commerce sector. As the tournament moves back to India, investments are likely to surge both in value and volume. E-commerce players such as Amazon, Quikr, Flipkart, Paytm, and Go-Daddy have invested in the tournament so far in one form or the other. It is expected that other e-commerce players will be buying ad spots or investing through the online medium in the future.

Brand consultants and media analysts have always perceived the Indian Premier League to be a mass event. The advertisers, therefore, who advertise in the tournament – no matter what the platform – do the same in order to get a massive branding exposure.

As the e-commerce war in India gets intense and every player is trying to pitch something different in terms of products, delivery model or robust service, the media and mass media properties like IPL are gaining the most out of the war as every player is coming up with one campaign or another.

Amazon India has invested almost Rs 25 crore-Rs 30 crore for the associate sponsorship this year during IPL on Set Max, 100-120 seconds per match. This is for the first time that any e-commerce player has tied up with IPL at such rates.

Amazon has recently gone aggressive in campaigning and displaying its wide range portfolio of products. “We have spent the last ten months building on our favored, trusted and reliable global brand. Today, we have a selection of over 15 million products across 24 product categories. As our target customers around the country will be watching IPL, we hope to entice and delight them with our trusted online shopping experience,” the Amazon spokesperson said in an e-mail response.

The global e-commerce giant, whose global operating income fell 19 per cent to $146 million recently, has tied with Kirana stores in Bangalore for a test delivery model. Is that the reason why they have tied up with IPL? ”We are running a pilot for in-store pick up service in Bangalore. We have identified and trained the staff at small koisks and stores, run by individual entrepreneurs, to be our shipment pick-up points. Depending on the results, we will take a call on how and what we want to roll out and we will make further announcement on this at an appropriate time,” the Amazon spokesperson added. Amazon India has also partnered with IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad on ground.

Apart from Amazon, Indian retail major Flipkart has bought massive ad-spots in IPL this year. The spot buys, as per Set Max, are currently available at Rs 4.75 lakh-Rs 5 lakh. Analyst and brand consultants believe that Flipkart is investing in IPL because of Amazon as the Indian player does not want to be left out.

However, when contacted, Ravi Vora, SVP-Marketing, Flipkart denied any such assumption. “I don’t agree with any such perceptions. Our investment in IPL is a logical conclusion to our mobile campaign which started in March. We wanted to promote shopping through mobile as amazing and we have successfully done that. We are also into another campaign activation of lifestyle branding. We are happy with our association with IPL and it is a strategically planned to promote our specialized categories,” he said.

Quikr, on the other hand, has also invested on Delhi Daredevils as the principle sponsor and is also buying ad spots. As per sources, Quikr has spent almost between Rs 12 crore and Rs 14 crore on the principle sponsorship. Quikr officials did not respond to our queries at the time of filling the report.

Paytm, an online destination for mobile recharges, bill payments and shopping, has tied up with Pepsi, which is the title sponsor of IPL, to promote its marketing campaign.

Does the online portal have a mass branding objective through IPL? Agreeing with this, Deepak Abbot, AVP, Paytm said, “A lot of people are excited about IPL and we wanted to capture the key word through the title sponsor Pepsi.” Paytm is also giving shopping vouchers up to Rs 2 lakh to lucky shoppers along with some guaranteed cash backs. The range of investment for the brand is around Rs 5 crore.

Abott further said, “The Paytm logo is there on all the Pepsi products and this is likely to remain even when the tournament ends. We will also be launching our TV commercials post the tournament.”

Go-Daddy, the portal which registers online domain names, has also invested in buying ad spots.

All the e-commerce brands have planned their presence according to their objectives. While investing on ground sponsorships and team jerseys would ensure sustained visibility of the brand logo, television commercials on the other hand are handy while communicating the message. In this context Quikr has cleverly chosen the title sponsorship of the Delhi Daredevils which is complimented through television commercials. Amazon India recently tried to tempt Indian merchants where-in they can sell their products on the same day they register their products on Amazon’s portal.

E-commerce is still considered to be a burgeoning but a nascent sector in India. IPL with its mass appeal and reach is a perfect platform for the brands in this category to reach out to as many people as possible.

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