Its an overcast sky for IPL-7 as major sponsors get jitters

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Updated: Apr 10 2014, 06:54am hrs
IPLEven as online retailer Amazon has jumped on to the IPL bandwagon, Godrej Group, one of the associate sponsors of IPL 6, has pulled out of the race this year.
Even as online retailer Amazon has jumped on to the IPL bandwagon, Godrej Group, one of the associate sponsors of IPL 6, has pulled out of the race this year. As a television sponsor, the group had launched a series of TV commercials, featuring cine star Aamir Khan, during the telecast of IPL 6.

Incidentally, Aamir Khan had appeared in nine ads to introduce key Godrej brands during IPL 6. On the rationale behind the decision, Tanya Dubash, executive director & president (marketing), Godrej Group, said, ''We have no new communication needs that would justify the sponsorship. So we are not participating in IPL sponsorship this year".

Like Godrej, Coca-Cola India is also not participating in any sponsorship deals this year, but it may buy ad spots in the second half of the tournament.

On the other hand, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federations (GCMMF) Amul has just signed as the associate sponsor for Sony's Extra Innings show.

As associate sponsors of Extra Innings, we will be airing TVCs during the telecast of this show. This is the third time we have signed the deal," said RS Sodhi, managing director of Amul.

FMCG company Parle Agro, makers of Frooti, has bought ad spots for R15 crore to gain visibility for its key beverage brands Caf Cuba, Appy Fizz and Frooti during the telecast of IPL 7. ''IPL coincides with the peak beverage season in India. Based on the needs and business objectives of respective brands, we have blocked TVC airtime for specific teams/matches playing at IPL, said Nadia Chauhan, joint managing director of Parle Agro.

Last year, IPLs major sponsors were PepsiCo, Vodafone, Tata Photon, Karbonn tablets, Samsung mobiles, the Godrej Group and Panasonic.

This year, IPL 7 's confirmed sponsors include, PepsiCo India, Vodafone, Amazon, Perfetti Van Melle, Havells and Amul.

PepsiCo India is the title sponsor for the seventh edition of IPL while MSM channels, Sony Max and Sony Six, are exclusive broadcasters of the Pepsi IPL 2014.

This year, FMCG company Perfetti Van Melle, Havells and Amazon have been brought as on-air associate sponsors by Multi Screen Media. MSM is still in talks with companies to clinch sponsorship deals.

''Sponsors are still thinking twice before putting money in IPL 7 due to the spot-fixing controversy and shift in venues. By this time last year, all sponsorship deals were sealed, according to an ad agency chief honcho based in Mumbai.

While many companies are hesitant to sign sponsorship deals, mobile operator Vodafone strongly believes the IPL platform has helped the company drive a strong brand-consumer connect.

Ronita Mitra, senior vice-president Brand Communications and Insights, Vodafone India, said, "We have been associated with IPL right since the first season (as its official partner). We have been the co- presenting sponsor... Like every year, IPL 7 will see a hi-decibel marketing campaign from Vodafone India which will be supported by innovative brand engagement activities.