India’s homegrown cricketing bonanza IPL is once again in the spotlight as two new temporary teams – Pune and Rajkot – replace the tainted Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for the next two editions.
With more than three months to go, the broadcaster, Multi Screen Media, is optimistic that the upcoming edition in 2016 (season 9) will be bigger and better. “We will see growth this time around too, as we have increased our ad rates by 15%,” says Rohit Gupta, president, Multi Screen Media (MSM).
Last year, the official broadcaster clocked advertising revenue of about Rs 1,000 crore and hopes to see a 10-15% hike in advertising revenue. IPL 8 had seen a 20-25% hike in viewership as well as increase in the number of title and main sponsors. Marred by a spot-fixing controversy in IPL7, MSM had generated ad revenue worth Rs 600-700 crore.
The ‘bigger, better’ prediction may just come true as more and more advertisers hope to associate themselves with IPL.
Seen as a launchpad by numerous brands – big or small – the cricketing property already has brands from numerous categories queuing up.
Amazon announced its launch in the country in 2014 through advertising heavily during the IPL season.
The next two editions of IPL will see a new title sponsor in smartphone manufacturers ViVo, replacing beverage giant PepsiCo which had decided to dissociate with the event due to the game’s disrepute after the scandals leading to the Lodha Committee’s decision to suspend the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years.
“If it wasn’t still attractive, one wouldn’t have seen so many bidders for the new teams, but one should tread with caution,” asserts Basabdatta Chowdhury, chief operating officer, Starcom Mediavest Group.
Media agencies seem bullish about IPL’s prospects. “The reverse auction will see players like Dhoni and Raina play for new teams. This is a new dynamic for IPL and is going to favour the tournament and advertisers,” says T Gangadhar, managing director, MEC India.
Unlike the early editions of IPL, Bollywood is all set to give the series a fitting reply in 2016, by lining up some big ticket movies. Among others, some much-awaited films like Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan will release on April 15, while the third edition of Housefull will release on June 3.