IPL & The Startups: A Battle of the Sponsorship race

The Indian Premier League, commonly referred to as the IPL, might be to everyone, a platform for exciting cricket matches, but not all is what cricket means for the IPL. Startups have been using the IPL as a platform to regulate its name across millions of viewers. This creates a value of its own to the common man who wishes to experience the product. The IPL has run over 40+ days, and the magnanimous use by startups has popularized a few. So, what's so unique that it has created this new economic Platform for the newbies?

The Indian Premier League is not just a sporting event, but an event of marketing an auction. Nicked as the “Richest Gaming Leagues in the world,” they generate an income of Billions every year. The sporting event has an audience of millions every year. The fascination of cricket in the country had popularized the event, and thus it has the longest running successful sporting event in the country. The success of the IPL has been linked with numerous brands that have been attached to it. From Dream11, which replaced Vivo to Jio, Cred and many more. The identity of the IPL has also grown even further.

The game’s worldwide spread has increased over time, and this has also made several cricket playing countries start with their cricket leagues. The Indian Premier League has popularity from Australia to England. The inclusion of players from different countries has also been a positive point and a joyous occasion to co-ordinate and understand talents individually. The League has gained fame overtime. Several countries that didn’t even play cricket have been interested with the sport and have started to initiate it in small clubs, mostly in the states where the baseball game resembles cricket and has a group clashing against the two.

With the growing fame of the IPL, it only becomes ideal for those bleeding startups to enhance their brands through the game. Companies like CRED, WhiteHatJr have utilized the platform to market their initiatives. CRED, a credit payment app, gained profitable growth after its advertisement during the “break” period. These ads usually range from Lakhs to Crores, even for a thirty-second ad. The use of veteran actors also pulled the aged groups to learn more about the app. WhiteHatJr, an online education initiative to teach coding to kids, also gained a successful number of students overnight. The company grew steadily and was even acquired by BYJU’s. Dream11, a fan-based betting site, has gained the most out of it. Being the title sponsor of the game has made it a household name due to its attachment with the game logo.

The Platform to significant earnings

The Indian Premier League had always been broadcasted through the mode of Television. The growth of many startups then wasn’t pronounced and was at a slow-pace. Each break was only around 4-5 minutes, and the race to include an advertisement across each break was such a complicated job. The costs were very high and if the time limit crossed the usual one, it would bring the brand under such bad limelight or even could go forgotten (the consumer mind is a complex mind). The Television platform was discussed for its feasibility and it wouldn’t reach a more massive crowd who spend their time over the phone or traveling. Each viewer is as essential to its popularity.

In 2015, the same corporation that broadcasted the game on Television (Star Sports) had launched a streaming service, Hotstar. The app gained a claim and had huge a huge viewer base. The Indian Premier League had found its way to every viewer, the primary device. The number of viewers was different for both, and startups also found it much cheaper and efficient to advertise their product. The viewership on the app was less but the startups still garnered users. Liquor advertisements that couldn’t advertise on TV had found easy advertising through the app service, and one of the major successful ones were the Royal Stag. Perfume Brands also gained faster recognition, and banner ads were a one-touch solution for companies that couldn’t afford the TV and the app’s advertising price.

These startups have found their base through these mediums that offer the viewers an experience based on their screen size. Those brands that couldn’t advertise through the Cinema Halls also shifted to the Television mode. The startups have gained immense recognition among the viewers, and it is still growing. One could say that the IPL has been a start for many startups, later on, it’s only the talent, marketing, and vision these startups possess to move on post-IPL.


The Post-IPL scenario

The Indian Premier League is sending, and it might turn difficult for these startups to find another hoe to gained consumers. The IPL has been the most significant event for many. The IPL’s valuation had been on the rise in 2019, from 3 Billion to 7 Billion; the growth has been staggering. The League itself has a value of 47,000 Crores across its ecosystem with brand appreciation at 14%. The value subsided when the League hadn’t found its slot due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The growing concern and its failure to occur would have drastic effects on the economy.

Star India’s Chairman, Uday Shankar (1), also warned about the economic shock they would have to face. Without brands to market, they wouldn’t earn as well, and startups wouldn’t gain recognition if it had never happened. The mutual understanding enabled IPL 2020 to run successfully, with many startups featuring themselves and gaining recognition. Dream 11 and Unacademy were on the line to gain title sponsorship. Dream11’s 222 Crore had won the bid, much lesser than the 440 Crore that Vivo would pay. PayTM was recognized as the Umpire’s Official partner, CRED, and Unacademy as IPL partners.

Startups are a massive growing force in India, and their survival depends on consumer interest. The value IPL brings to a brand is far greater than what a regular advertisement brings to the brand. The success stories of many startups all due to the IPL. Even BYJU’s startup got its claim to fame through the IPL and got many consumers, deals across the world. For the other startups, the post-IPL scenario lingers, leading them to find a more suitable approach to their brand.

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My passion is Reading and writing. Basically, an optimistic introvert. Always striving to be better. Writing as a passion leads me to become stronger and focused.

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