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IPL beats slowdown trends; removes exclusivity tag to bring in more brands

09-February-2009
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IPL beats slowdown trends; removes exclusivity tag to bring in more brands

The Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 2 auction that took place in Goa last week, made one feel that the world or rather India was immune to the global economic slowdown. The exorbitant price tags of the players auctioned show that there is still a lot of interest in the game and that IPL is going to get bigger and better.

As companies cut down on their ad spends keeping in mind the market scenario, there are still a lot of brands who do not want to miss out on the opportunities that come with associating with a big property like IPL. However, sectors like retail, financial and real estate have preferred to stay away from IPL Season 2.

Despite the enthusiastic response, IPL is taking steps to make the tournament slowdown-proof. In order to attract more advertisers, Sony has removed its category exclusivity model so that more brands can join in the bandwagon. Another innovative model that they have introduced is smaller packages that would help these brands to be associated with IPL.

Throwing more light on this, Rohit Gupta, President - Network Sales, Licensing and Telephony, Sony Entertainment Television, told exchange4media, “This year, we have removed the category exclusivity model, which we had last year so that more and more brands can come aboard.”

He explained, “Earlier, with category exclusivity if a sponsorship came in a particular category, one could not sell spots in that category. Rates are never an issue on IPL, but it is the outlays. We have come with smaller packages so that one could by around 15-20 games, which otherwise with sponsorship would have had to buy all the 59 games. These are two main deviations we made from last year to ensure that we accept the challenges of the slowdown.”

Following the success of Season 1 and with even more expectations from IPL Season 2, Gupta said, the ad rates had been increased from what they were last year. “This year, the ad rates are Rs 4 lakh per 10 seconds for sponsors,” he informed.

Gupta also affirmed that the Season 2 of IPL would be aired only on MAX.

As to the reported tiff between BCCI and Sony over its DTH sponsors, Gupta refused to make any comments. However, he was confident that the issue would be sorted out. He also refrained from naming any of the sponsors for the game.

(Tomorrow: Media planners’ expectations from IPL Season 2)

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