IPL Advertising: All you wanted to know about IPL sponsorship and advertising

IPL is not only one of the biggest annual Cricket event but a festival in India. In a country like India where Cricket is a religion, IPL is like a carnival of sports, entertainment, and endorsements. With billions of viewing minutes registered every year, every brand wants to encash this opportunity by having a share of the sponsorship and advertising pie. This year, due to COVID-19, IPL 2020 has been postponed to September-November 2020 instead of the usual March-May months.

While we have stressed a lot on IPL advertising on Hotstar and television in our previous articles (links below), in this article we would talk about the various ways across media for sponsorship and advertising in IPL 2020.

Following are the platforms for IPL 2020 sponsorship and advertising that we will be covering in the article:

IPL 2020 sponsorship and advertising options

The Pull of IPL: Some facts

IPL is not only a cricket event but also the king of entertainment. Each of the eight teams is a brand in itself and has a widespread fan base, not limited to the state/city it represents only. This behavior shows in the viewership figures too. Following are some facts collated from reports from BARC, Hotstar and Zapr.

IPL 2019 viewership and IPL audience profile

Sports Sponsorship and Advertising

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of sports sponsorship and advertising, here’s a fun fact. Sports sponsorship is perhaps one of the oldest form of advertising, dating back to ancient Rome. Back in about 264 BC, gladiator combats were often sponsored by the wealthy and rich of the city to demonstrate their generosity and influence. This sponsorship also involved advertising their names on the walls and pamphlets etc.

Often sponsorship and advertising are used interchangeably. Of course they have elements that overlap but they are different in some ways. Here are a few differences:

Sponsorship vs advertising

IPL 2020: Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities

In this article, we will cover all possible sponsorship and advertising opportunities brands can take up during IPL 2020 tournament. These sponsorship and advertising avenues cover both online and offline platforms like digital streaming, sports blogs, online OTT, television, radio, and newspapers, etc. Through this article, our endeavor is to bring out the positive points of each of these advertising options and help you decide which one would best suit your requirements. In case you would want to know more about each of these sponsorship and advertising options like execution details and ad rates, you can visit our website for more details.

IPL 2020 Sponsorship Packages: Offline

(Image Source: InsideSport)

1. Tournament Sponsorships- Series/Teams/Stadium:

This is the most coveted format of IPL sponsorship. There are several options available for such sponsorships, involve multi-crore rupees transactions and are often decided through auctions. However, it’s not necessarily restricted to big national level brands only. IPL has 8 teams that represent various regions hence making team sponsorship a lucrative opportunity for strong regional brands. Apart from this, there are other sponsorship opportunities like stadium branding, jersey branding, merchandise branding, etc. One of the biggest advantages of such sponsorship packages is that brands often get access to the players for brand endorsements and in such cases, brands should also consider maximizing their reach through advertising.

Who is it for?

  • Apt for a brand having mass appeal. For example, A budget smartphone brand like Vivo is better suited for IPL sponsorship than a brand like Apple who has a niche audience.
  • Brands having a high advertising budget. Even though the tournament sponsorship doesn’t cost a lot, the best practice is to magnify the association and its benefits through more advertising. For this, brands should be able to set aside some more money.
  • Strong regional brands can find it very useful to invest in sponsoring a team. Since each team in IPL represents a region, these teams have a strong regional fan base. This can work in favor of regional brands.

Why should brands opt for series/team/stadium sponsorship?

  • Positive association with brand IPL: Sponsorship has always been associated with support, patronage, and generosity. IPL is already one of the most popular brands in India. Sponsoring the series, team or stadium, etc would lead to an increase in brand awareness and positive sentiments towards the brand.
  • High Impact: The brand names would appear alongside the IPL and team names as well as on uniforms and merchandise and would have high visibility. This would have a very high impact on the audience.
  • Player endorsement during the tournament: Series and team Sponsorship packages often include perks like brand endorsements by players.

How much would series/team/stadium sponsorship cost?

Series/team/stadium sponsorship packages can go up to multi-crore rupees but the smallest sponsorship packages can cost about INR 1 Crore onwards.

Image Source: India TV News

2. Sponsorship of IPL based News Programs:

IPL is one of the biggest planned events in India and like all big events, IPL brings a jump in viewership for sports news. During the IPL season, most news channels run special programs based on IPL, where they invite cricketers and experts to analyze the match. These programs receive a lot of viewership from cricket fans and IPL watchers. By sponsoring these programs, brands would get a strong association with the news channels and programs. To know more details and advertising rates, click here.

Who is it for?

  • Apt for brands having a predominately male audience like fintech, building material, machinery, etc.
  • Brands who want to ride the increase in TV viewership but don’t have enough budget to advertise on Sports channels.

Why should brands opt for TV news channels IPL special program sponsorship?

  • Brands would get an opportunity to advertise on IPL property on television at a much lesser price than live IPL matches on sports channels.
  • For brands who are already sponsoring/ advertising on sports channels during live IPL matches streaming, sponsoring TV news channels IPL special program sponsorship adds another touchpoint to the existing plan.

How much should brands spend on TV news channels IPL special program sponsorship?

  • Brands should spend about INR 50 lakh+ to sponsor TV news channels IPL special programs.
(Image Source: InsideSport)

3. Sponsorship of Red FM IPL Campaign “Mile Shor Mera Tumhara” through brand integration:

Red FM has planned an entire campaign around IPL 2020 which would include a number of programs both on-air and on the digital platforms. There are three types of sponsorship offers up for grabs: Presenting Partnership, Co-powered by Partnership, and Associate Partnership for the campaign. The sponsorship packages include on-air promos and mentions, social media post tagging as well as PR, newspaper ads, outdoor ads, etc. To know more details and advertising rates, click here.

Who is it for?

  • Brands with a majority of audience based in metro cities.

Why should brands sponsor Red FM IPL Campaign?

  • Radio as an advertising medium has evolved well over the years. As a part of the package, brands would get 360-degree advertising through multiple channels both online and offline.
  • Red FM is one of the most popular radio stations in the country. By sponsoring the IPL campaign, brands can form a strong positive association with brand Red FM
  • Sponsorship of the Red FM IPL Campaign would provide an additional touchpoint for brands advertising on live telecast and streaming of IPL matches.

How much should brands spend in Red FM IPL campaign sponsorship?

Brands should spend about INR 10 lakh onwards to create a considerable impact.

IPL 2020 Sponsorship Packages: Online

(Image Source: Sportskeeda)

4. Sponsorship of special IPL content on sports blogs like Sportskeeda and Cricbuzz:

Sports websites like Sportskeeda and Cricbuzz are the think tanks for every sports fan. Whether there is a live sport or not, these websites always receive traffic to consume their high-quality opinion-based content around cricket and other sports. The viewership is expected to go very high during the live matches. Since it’s a content-based platform, sponsorship involves both media properties like banner ads, high impact ads like interstitial as well as content properties like articles, social media posts, and videos, etc. To know more about the sponsorship packages and advertising rates, click here.

Who is it for?

  • Brands who are looking for an additional touchpoint for IPL advertising on digital platform
  • Brands with online-first presence

Why should brands sponsor sports blog IPL special content?

  • Sports blogs during IPL become a battlefield of varied opinions and views even before and after the matches. With more than 80% of the audience coming on a mobile platform, these blogs are good media to target mobile-first young and urban audience.
  • Since the blog contains posts and articles and not live-action, ads run on the site would work the best for branding as well as performance, something difficult to find with other media.
  • By sponsoring IPL content on these sports blogs, brands advertising on live matches can get an additional digital touchpoint for hours in between the matches.

How much should brands spend in sports blogs IPL coverage sponsorship?

Brands would be required to spend INR 7 lakh onwards to get a considerable exposure in sports blogs IPL coverage sponsorship.

5. Sponsorship of IPL scorecard on Gaana Platform:

Gaana is one of the most popular audio OTT platforms in the country. Although not related to sports, sponsoring the IPL scorecard on the Gaana platform is an interesting advertising option. While active watchers of IPL can be targeted on other platforms, this platform can help you target audience who don’t have access to live matches due to work or studies and also those who do not follow cricket and IPL religiously. The sponsorship comes with a very high impact advertising option like a live scorecard on the home page, interstitial ads, and audio score updates with brand mention. To know more about the sponsorship package and rates, click here.

Who is it for?

  • Brands having students and young working professionals as the audience
  • Brands who have a digital presence

Why should brands sponsor live scorecard on the Gaana platform?

  • Sponsoring a live scorecard on the Gaana platform would give brands an opportunity to connect with non-viewers through brand IPL, something many brands would require during the upcoming festive season.

How much would sponsoring a live scorecard on the Gaana platform cost?

Sponsorship package for a live scorecard on the Gaana platform would cost about INR 65 lakh but packages can be customized as per requirements too.

IPL 2020 Advertising: Offline

(Image Credit: Scroll.in)

6. Advertising on Star TV Network during live IPL matches:

Despite the growth of digital, television still remains the highest watched medium when it comes to IPL live matches. Needless to say, the scale of reach and impact that television provides is unparalleled. Even with the increased ad rates, advertising on Star TV Network would lead to the lowest cost per reach. Apart from the usual video ads played between overs and during breaks, brands can also look for other integrations like Super Sixes, etc. To know more about the advertising options and ad rates for Star TV Network IPL Live Telecast, click here.

Who is it for?

  • Brands with a national presence. Strong regional brands can opt for regional language channels too.
  • Brands that cater to masses
  • Brands with an advertising budget of 15 Crores & above for IPL

Why should brands advertise on Star TV Network during live IPL matches?

  • Television’s reach in India is unparalleled irrespective of status and geography. Hence, by advertising on television, brands can reach to masses.
  • Owing to high reach, even after the premium brands have to pay for IPL advertising, the cost per reach remains low.

How much should brands spend on advertising on Star TV Network during live IPL matches?

Though per second rates for video advertising on Star TV Network during live IPL matches starts at INR 1,25,000, to make a sizeable impact, brands would need a budget of about INR 15 Crore and above.

(Image Source: Zee News)

7. Advertising on News Channels during IPL Coverage:

Not only sports channels where IPL live matches would be telecasted but even news channels would experience a jump in the viewership as they would be running special programs on IPL related news and expert opinions and comments. This is an attractive opportunity for brands to advertise too. Along with video ads, brands can also opt for L-band branding. To know more about the advertising options under News channels advertising during IPL coverage, click here.

Who is it for?

  • Apt for brands having a predominately male audience like fintech, building material, machinery, etc.
  • Brands who want to ride the increase in TV viewership but don’t have enough budget to advertise on Sports channels.

Why should brands opt for advertising on TV news channels IPL special programs?

  • Brands would get an opportunity to advertise on IPL property on television at a much lesser price than live IPL matches on sports channels.
  • For brands who are already sponsoring/ advertising on sports channels during live IPL matches streaming, sponsoring TV news channels IPL special program sponsorship adds another touchpoint to the existing plan.
  • Unlike other genres like GECs and movies that suffer the loss of viewership during IPL season, news channels get a higher viewership because of IPL news coverage hence, by advertising on news channel IPL coverage, brands can get higher reach and frequency.

How much should brands spend on TV news channels IPL special program advertising?

Brands would have to spend around INR 50 lakh+ to have a considerable impact during IPL 2020 on TV news channels.

8. Advertising in leading national & regional newspapers in IPL special section:

Newspapers are another popular mass medium that is consumed on a daily basis in households. Especially during Covid-19 times, people spend more time reading newspapers at home. During the IPL season, the sports section of newspapers is the most sought after page. Hence, newspaper ad placements in the sports section become a lucrative option. This year, newspaper advertising during IPL will be more innovative in the form of syndicate columns which are special news columns written by Cricket experts and carry opinions rather than usual news. These columns attract more attention due to the exclusivity and authenticity of the content. Some of the prominent guest columnists this year include AB de Villiers, Sanjay Manjrekar, and Kumar Sangakkara. Brands can advertise in the middle of the syndicated columns in the form of a 20 sq cm island ad format in the leading newspapers like Times of India, Hindustan Times along with popular regional newspapers. To know more about the advertising options and advertising rates, please click here.

Who is it for?

  • Brands who cater to the masses and are looking for an additional touchpoint offline.

Why should brands opt for newspaper advertising in IPL special content?

  • Advertising in syndicate columns provides brands with an uncluttered environment and hence, ensures high visibility.
  • Advertising in newspaper columns during IPL would give brands presence beyond live matches.
  • Advertising in newspaper IPL special columns would help brands target audiences based on language too.

How much would newspaper advertising in IPL special section cost?

Advertising in Times of India along with regional newspapers in all editions across India would cost about INR 3,90,000 while advertising in Hindustan Times along with regional newspapers in all editions across India would cost INR 1,90,000.

IPL 2020 Advertising: Online

9. Advertising in Hotstar during IPL live streaming:

Ever since IPL matches have been streaming on Hotstar, the digital viewership of IPL has broken all records. IPL 2019 on Hotstar had crossed 300 million in reach. This year also, it is expected to go beyond that. We have discussed a lot about Hotstar advertising during IPL live streaming through several articles but to reiterate the main points, advertising on Hotstar during live IPL matches can help brands to reach out to an urban young male audience having a high affinity for digital transactions. Hotstar offers various ad types like mid-roll videos, pre-roll videos, and branded cards during IPL and various targeting filters can also be applied to the live audience. To know more, click here.

Who is it for?

  • Brands with male, young & urban audience
  • Online-first brands
  • Brands having regional presence
  • E-commerce brands
  • Brands who want to target a premium audience

Why should brands opt for Hotstar advertising during IPL live streaming?

  • Affluent audience with a high propensity to purchase: Hotstar is the preferred OTT platform for an affluent audience.
  • Low barrier to entry: IPL Advertising has always been considered as a game meant for big-ticket advertisers. However, it’s going to change with IPL 2020 advertising rates which allow brands to start advertising at a starting package of INR 1 lakh.
  • Targeting available: Compared to the previous year when the same ad was served to everyone during live streaming of the match, this year the mid-roll ads (ads played during the live game) can be targeted using available filters.

How much would Hotstar advertising during IPL live match cost?

Though one needs only INR 1 lakh to start advertising on Hotstar during IPL live matches, INR 5 lakh is a good enough budget to gain a good traction during one match.

Suggested Combinations

While we have discussed each of the IPL sponsorship and advertising options individually, it would be useful if we also know which combination of ad platforms would be the best for brands. Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Maximize your reach through the combo of Star TV Network + Hotstar: IPL 2019 recorded a reach of 424 million on television as well as 300 million on digital. Imagine the massive reach if both are combined. While Star TV network has a last-mile reach, Hotstar is known for its young urban audience.
  • Encash the male factor through News TV Channels Sponsorship/Advertising + TOI/HT Advertising: News as a genre is very popular among the male audience predominately. Sports being watched by male audiences mostly, advertising on news tv channels and newspapers in the IPL special section is the best advertising platform for brands with male audiences.
  • Paint the city red with Red FM Advertising + TOI/HT Advertising: What’s one common factor between radio and newspaper advertising? The fact that both are city-centric. If you are a regional brand or want to target the metros, nothing can beat the combination of Red FM advertising combined with TOI/HT advertising.
  • Digital advertising for digital-first brands with Hotstar + Sports blogs: While Hotstar is well known for its live-streaming coverage, huge reach, very high engagement, and targeted advertising, advertising on sports blogs can provide brands with an extra avenue as well as ensure better visibility and performance.

Summarizing the entire article in a table:

Promotion Type
Platform Type
What
Where
When
Who
Why
Best Combined With
Sponsorship
Offline
Tournament Sponsorships- Series/Teams/Stadium
Stadium, Official websites and Social handles, Player uniform & kits, Live broadcast, Brand endorsements, merchandise etc
During entire tournament period
# For a mass brand
# Should have enough budget to magnify the association
# Strong regional brands

# High impact
# Positive association with brand IPL
# Player endoresement during the tournament
Star TV Network + Hotstar
Sponsorship
Offline
Sponsorhip of IPL-based news programs
News TV Channels
During entire tournament period
#Brands who want to ride the increase in viewership but don't have budget to advertise on sports channels
#Brands having a predominately male audience
#Lower costs
#Presence beyond live telecast of matches
Newspaper
Sponsorship
Offline
Sponsorship of Red FM IPL campaign "Mile Shor Mera Tumhara" through brand integration
Red FM Radio Stations
During entire tournament period
#Brands having audience predominately from metro cities#Multi channel advertising

Newspaper
Sponsorship
Online
Sponsorship of IPL content on sports blogs
Sports blogs like Cricbuzz, Sportskeeda
During entire tournament period
#Brands with male, young & urban audience
#Brands with online first presence
#Brands looking for an additional touchpoint on digital
#Brands having students and young working professionals as audience
#Young urban digital audience with more time spent on mobile
#Presence beyond live streaming of matches
#Branding & performance combined
Hotstar
Sponsorship
Online
Sponsorship of IPL scorecard on Gaana platform
Gaana.com
During live matches
#Brands having students and young working professionals as audience
#Brands who have digital presence
#Brands looking for an additional touch point on digital
#Provides brands an additional touchpoint
Hotstar
Advertising
Offline
Video Ads
Star Network Channels on Television during live telecast of matches and match analysis/preview programs
During live telecast of matches and match analyis before match, during innings break & after match
#Brands with nationwide presence
#Brands that cater to masses
#Brands with advertising budget of 15 Crores & above for IPL
#Mass reach
#Low cost per reach
Hotstar
Advertising
Offline
Video Ad, L Band
News TV Channels
During entire tournament period
#Brands who want to ride the increase in viewership but don't have budget to advertise on sports channels
#Brands having a predominately male audience
#Best to reach out to the male audience of all age group
#Low cost per reach
#Presence beyond live telecast of matches
#More reach & frequency
Newspaper
Advertising
Offline
Image ads in between IPL special opinion articles
Leading national and regional newspapers
During entire tournament period
"

#Brands looking for an additional touchpoint
#Uncluttered environment
#Presence beyond live matches
#Language based audience
Radio
Advertising
Online
6 sec to 30 sec video ads
Hotstar platform during live streaming of IPL matches
During live streaming of matches and match analysis before match, during innings break & after match
#Brands with male, young & urban audience
#Online-first brands
#Brands having regional presence
#Young urban audience
#Targeting options to reduce spillage
Star TV Network

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