Advertisers have bet more than Rs 1,500 crore on the sixth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) so far. While the fifth season of the tournament had begun on a sombre note,this year there is a lot of cheer on as well as off the ground,especially among brands.
There are more than 100 brands riding the league through direct advertising or sponsorships or innovative associations with teams,the IPL management and the official broadcaster,Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd (MSMPL). And they dont include just big boys of the ad world but also small and even local brands such as Raindrops basmati rice,Noida International University,Amity University,Live-In Jeans,Sheltrex,R N Sports,Gilpin Travel Management and Sanskar School among others.
This is going to be the best year for us so far, said Rohit Gupta,president,network sales,MSM. Last year,the broadcaster had managed to get only seven sponsors on board and clocked in over Rs 700 crore through advertising. This year,it has 11 sponsors (including Samsung,Panasonic,Karbonn Mobiles,Tata Photon,Cadburys,Parle Foods,Usha Appliances International,Havells and Godrej),90 per cent of its ad inventory is already sold and it is hopeful of closing the season with revenues in the excess of Rs 900 crore.
MSM began by selling its inventory at around Rs 4-4.5 lakh,but a new advertiser wanting to hop on to the network at this stage will have to shell out around Rs 5.5 lakh per 10 seconds,said Gupta. A similar prime-time TV spot on the most popular entertainment shows such as Bigg Boss or KBC costs around Rs 1-2.5 lakh.
As for the teams,even newbies Sunrisers Hyderabad and Pune Warriors have their jerseys swamped with brand logos. Pune Warriors,for instance,has its own brand Sahara,Finolex,Killer Jeans,Sansui,Lux Cozi among others while Sunrisers has got makemytrip,Kingfisher,Garnier,7UP,Manyavar and Live-In Jeans on board.
Sponsorships have emerged as the single-largest source of revenue for IPL franchisees,following their share in the central pool (includes media rights and the sponsorships that IPL management ties up with brands), says Vinit Karnik,head of GroupMs special division dedicated to sports,entertainment and promotions. This year,almost all franchisees have sold a minimum of 10 active spots on their players attire.
GroupM is the countrys largest media buying house and has facilitated deals worth Rs 75 crore between various brands and IPL stakeholders.
The active spots referred to by Karnik include lead chest,right upper chest,lead arm,non-lead arm,back of the jersey,on cap,on the front and the back of the helmet,lead trousers and non-lead trousers.
According to estimates gathered from franchisees,different teams have tied up anywhere between Rs 25 crore and Rs 45 crore worth of sponsorship and partnership deals. Almost all of the old teams have close to 20 tie-ups with different brands, says a senior executive of Rajasthan Royals.
Incidentally,all of the six central sponsorships owned by the IPL management were up for renewal this year. While the number of sponsors came down to five,the value at which new deals have been struck has gone up by almost 100 per cent. For instance,realty company DLF had signed a five-year title sponsorship deal with IPL for Rs 40 crore a year whereas new sponsor PepsiCo has picked up the tab for Rs 79.6 crore per year for the next five years. The cola company is also the pouring partner (essentially means the players will only drink PepsiCo products on the ground) of eight teams.
The title sponsorship,exclusive pouring and activation rights with eight teams,coupled with the robust on-air,on-line and on-ground plans will ensure maximum visibility and engagement for various PepsiCo brands, says Homi Battiwalla,senior director,marketing,PepsiCo India. There is no single media format which delivers the cumulative viewership and reach like the IPL and the format is evolving much beyond traditional TV into the online/mobile space/deeper consumer touch points and fan engagement, he adds.
The other sponsors roped in by the IPL management include Vodafone,Yes Bank,McDonalds and Star India. Each of these is learnt to have bought the rights for around Rs 28-30 crore a year.