Brands look to score big with IPL

What happens when a great Indian sporting festival (Indian Premier League or IPL) coincides with the festival of lights? Expect a cracker of performance by brands on the advertising pitch. “The IPL 2020 will be the biggest impact platform available for marketers as they move into the festive season,” says Gautam Thakar, chief executive officer at Star Sports, the IPL broadcaster. The Star Sports honcho explains why: Pent-up demand and positive sentiment among marketers. With less than a month left for the first game and the lucrative festive period ahead, brands across consumer durables, FMCG, auto, apparel BFSI, ecommerce startups and online gaming are lining up to take advantage of this window of opportunity. With matches beginning half-an-hour early, fewer doubleheaders combined with the sheer size of the captive audience, IPL is poised to achieve a new viewership record, adds Thakar.

Media planners too are upbeat. The IPL, says Shashi Sinha, chief executive of IPG Mediabrands India, is a sign of resurgence for marketers and advertisers. As it grabs maximum eyeballs, there will be many advertisers who will want to associate with it. “The market sentiment is positive because IPL marks the return of live sport,” says Sinha.

Brands are willing to shell out moolah for the event. Indigo Paints plans to be on air during the tournament, so does homegrown handset maker Media planners feel FMCG players, edtech startups and health-centric companies, will lead the charge as they have benefitted most during the pandemic.

(This story appears in the 11 September, 2020 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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