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IPL 2020 attracts Rs 500 crore in sponsorships: Three factors that helped

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While for a successful franchise like IPL, crossing the Rs 500-crore mark may be on expected lines, what makes the feat extraordinary is its ability to make it happen in a tough market scenario

IPL 2020 sponsorship crossed the Rs 500-crore mark this season, becoming one of the big success stories despite the ongoing pandemic, says ESP Properties in its latest report.

While for a successful franchise like IPL, crossing the Rs 500-crore mark may be on expected lines, what makes it extraordinary is its ability to make it happen in a tough market scenario.

So what made IPL join the Rs 500-crore mark? In our discussion with some marketing experts, these are the three big factors that emerged:

Pent-Up Marketing Spends

One of the big reasons for IPL 2020 to attract Rs 500 crore in sponsorships has to do with the prevailing market sentiment where brands have been limited as far as marketing options are concerned.

“When IPL started this year, brands had limited marketing options. IPL brought with it a new possibility. Also, IPL enjoys great credibility for its ability to deliver ROI and brands have unshakeable faith in its ability to do so,” stated a marketing expert.

Promise of Record Viewership

Since Covid put a brake on live sporting events across the world, millions of sporting fans in India were waiting for an opportunity to binge watch. With OTT and TV almost running out of new content, IPL came to their rescue.

And the numbers proved it right. In the opening week itself, IPL 2020 witnessed 15% growth in viewing minutes as compared to 2019. As per the BARC-Nielsen Edition 12 IPL 2020 report, which focuses on television viewership and smartphone trends, 269 million viewers watched IPL in its opening week. In the opening week, 15% growth witnessed in viewing minutes as compared to 2019.

Whereas, the league registered 60.6 billion viewing minutes across seven matches and 21 channels.

Spending by Home-grown Start-ups

While IPL 2020 has witnessed a massive shift in its sponsorship profile– fewer legacy brands and the rise of homegrown start-ups and lesser-known brands.
Dream 11, Unacademy, Equitas Small Finance Bank Limited, Performax, Ralco Tyres, Jai Raj Steel, Double Horse, FanCode Shop–IPL 2020 has a completely new support base, and mostly from home-grown brands.

This year, some legacy brands have kept their distance from IPL 2020. And this in turn has paved the way for new entrants to join the league. And they have done so in hordes, albeit at a discounted price.

According to sports marketing experts, for start-ups and many new brands, IPL 2020 is a dream come true as the price points were lower.

If we look at IPL 2019, the total central sponsorship revenue stood at Rs 618 crore. Out of this, Vivo’s contribution alone stood at Rs 440 crore as the title sponsor, while official sponsors (Tata Motors, Dream11, and Future Group) contributed a collective sum of Rs 120 crore. The remaining Rs 58 crore came in from Paytm and CEAT.
Out of the Rs 500 crore worth of brand sponsorship this year, Dream11 alone has spent Rs 222 crore as its title sponsor. It seems the twin strategy of heavy discounts and lower entry fees has cracked the revenue code for IPL 2020 and made it retain its Midas touch.

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Ruhail Amin

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