Star India has attracted 11 brands for its ‘reimagined’ telecast of the Vivo Indian Premier League. The annual T-20 extravaganza changed hands after Star recently bagged it with a Rs 163.48-billion bid for five years. This is the first time the IPL will be available on the same network on TV and digital platforms.
This, believes Anil Jayaraj, executive vice-president and head of ad sales for Star Sports, has been the key driver for attracting brands. He says: "Having both TV and digital platforms means brands will for the first time have the opportunity to leverage the power of multi-screen. This allows brands to combine the power of mass reach and targeted performance. We have gone to market with a combined proposition but have been fluid in that if a brand wants to lean more heavily on one platform, we adapt. The positive thing is that we have not come across a single brand yet refraining from either platform.”
Some of the brands that have signed on the property so far include IPL regulars like Vivo (also the title on-ground sponsor), Kent and Parle. Newcomers into the fold include Elica Kitchens (modular kitchens), Dream11 (fantasy league portal), Polycab Wires and Coca-Cola. The global beverage giant has been a known brand in cricket sponsorships in the past, but it has dialled back on cricket sponsorships in the recent past, and started investing in cricket tournaments since last year.
“IPL has always lived up to its promise of being the most impactful media property, and there is the added attraction of the return of two popular teams this year. We are seeing good traction with our clients. Star has developed a very strong marketing plan and created a lot of innovative opportunities for advertisers across their broadcast and digital platforms,” says CVL Srinivas, CEO of GroupM South Asia.
Last year, Sony Pictures Network India (SPN) had roped in nine brands on TV, while Hotstar had close to 10 brands associating with the property on the digital platform. While SPN earned around Rs 13 billion from ad-sales in IPL 2017, industry estimates peg Hotstar’s ad-sales revenues in the Rs 1.8 billion to Rs 2 billion range for last year. Experts say it is too early to say how much Star India would make from this year’s telecast of the tournament. However, market estimates say Star India would be looking at around Rs 20 billion in ad-sales revenue.
In order to make the most of the tournament, Star India has extended the engagement duration on the IPL to six month, starting with the IPL player retention process (televised for the first time this year) in January, followed by the player auctions at the end of January. In the run up to the tournament, the network will be airing programmes around the teams and their preparation for IPL 2018 – all monetisable assets on TV and digital.