Hindustan Unilever, Godrej join IPL bandwagon

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 31 2009, 05:48am hrs
FMCG majors Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and the Godrej Group have jumped on to the IPL (season 2) bandwagon, even as Bajaj Allianz and realty major HDIL are terminating their deals with IPL teams.

The Godrej Group has just signed up as one of the co-sponsors for IPL (Season 2). HUL has joined the list of sponsors of the much-hyped sports event, scheduled for April 2009.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola India has turned associate sponsor of yet another IPL team, Delhi Dare Devils, for its flagship brand Coke. Earlier, the company had signed up as the associate sponsor for Kolkata Knight Riders for its Sprite brand.

Incidentally, IPL had only seven sponsors in its first season; the number has risen to ten in this (second) season. At present, IPL (Season2) sponsors include Coca-Cola India, the Godrej Group, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Vodafone, LG, Samsung Mobile, Airtel Digital TV, Hyundai and Havells.

Indian corporates are sponsoring IPL teams in a bid to grab high visibility for their brands. We are expecting some more Indian companies to join the IPL sponsors list next week, said an analyst based in Mumbai.

A Coca-Cola India spokesperson, while commenting on the companys new sponsorships, said, We are committed to the IPL as it gives us yet another opportunity to connect with consumers. After signing up as the associate sponsor of Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Dare Devils for Sprite and Coca-Cola respectively, we are now looking forward to the season II of the cricketing extravaganza.

An HUL spokesperson, when contacted for comments regarding the company becoming an IPL sponsor, said, We have no comments to offer. HK Press, executive director and president of Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL), the Godrej Group, however, confirmed that the company has signed up as one of the co-sponsors for IPL (Season 2).

We will be using this opportunity to gain visibility for our brands, said Press. The company is planning to beam a series of television advertisements to promote its flagship brands during the tournament.

On the rationale behind Cokes move to sponsor two IPL teams, the company spokesperson said, Cricket and Bollywood are the two biggest passions in India. With IPL bringing these together, its appeal transcends demographics, geographies and even socio-economic classifications.

Meanwhile, Sony has kick-started its second round of television campaign to promote its channel Sony Max.

According to industry sources, Idea Cellular will soon join the IPL (Season 2) bandwagon. Lowe India is currently working on advertising campaigns for Idea Cellular, added sources.