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Negotiating an IPL sponsorship deal with Star India? Here’s how you can make the most

The network, which is selling ad inventory at 30% premium over last year, may get more associate and co-presenting sponsors for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League as advertisers are pressing to reduce overall ad inventory per game

The economic slowdown might not have had any impact on the 10-second ad rates Star India is charging advertisers, but several brands who are lining up to be co-sponsors and associate sponsors have reportedly sought a reduction in the mandatory inventories per game to fit their overall advertising outlays.

The official deal for an associate sponsor is that the brand has to take 90 seconds of advertising inventory per game and a co-presenting sponsor has to take 180 seconds per game.

Also read: What slowdown? Star hikes IPL spot ad rates by 30%

The rate being quoted is Rs 12 lakh per 10 seconds. So, ideally, an associate sponsor has to spend about Rs 1 crore per match. For the entire tournament of 59-60 matches, the overall cost of associate sponsorship amounts to Rs 60 crore. Similarly, the rate quoted for a co-presenting sponsor is about Rs 2 crore per game, which becomes Rs 120 crore for the entire season.

On an average, Star India ropes in three to four brands as co-presenting sponsors and another 10 brands or so as associate sponsors.

Last year, major IPL associate sponsors included Asian Paints, Maruti Suzuki, Swiggy, Big Bazaar, Cadbury Dairy Milk, MRF, Polycab Wires, Vimal Pan Masala, Make My Trip, Voltas, MRF, Byju’s, Polycab Wires and Cable, Mobile Premier League (MPL) and Samsung QLED. PhonePe, Coca Cola, Oppo were all IPL’s co-presenting partners.

Brands want relaxation in the mandatory inventory acquisition clause

Despite the ongoing slowdown, Star India is unlikely to give any major discount to advertisers. But according to insiders, to accommodate the request of advertisers, the broadcaster may reduce the mandatory inventory-buying clause that comes with a co-sponsor or associate sponsor tag.

Shashi Sinha

“Now when it comes to negotiations, Star India rarely gives 3-7% discount on 10 seconds rate for sponsorship deals. Rather than giving heavy discounts on slot rate of Rs 12 lakh per 10 seconds, the broadcaster reduces seconders to reduce the outlay of the clients. It sometimes closes the deal at 70-75 seconds of inventories per match. On a good day, the deals would close somewhere between Rs 50-55 crore,” said IPG Mediabrands India CEO Shashi Sinha.

Looking at weaker economic conditions, many brands want inventories to be reduced up to 50-60 seconds per game for an associate sponsor, he said.

According to top media planners, the deals for associate sponsors are expected to close at Rs 40-45 crore this season depending on the holding power of both the parties.

Experts said that effectively, the brands would still be spending the same amount as last year, but the advertising time is likely to be reduced by 20-30%.

“Picture this. If a deal was closed at 75 seconds of inventory per game last year when the 10-second slot rate was around Rs 10 lakh, an associate sponsor was paying about Rs 45 crore,” another media planner said.

The industry insiders also said IPL is going to be the first major cricket event this year and arguably the biggest event for TV this year, and several new brands may want to join as co-presenting and associate sponsors.

“All will depend on the number of advertisers willing to spend big,” Sinha added.

“Star India asks the on-ground title sponsor, who needs on-air presence also, to take 240 seconds per game,” said another media planner.

“This means they used to earn ad revenue of Rs 2.5 crore per game, which is Rs 150 crore for the tournament, from Vivo until last year,” he added. The title sponsor for the current season is yet to be finalised.

Star India’s revenue from IPL 2019 was less than Rs 2,000 crore. The broadcaster had won the five-year (2018-2022) TV and digital rights for the tournament at an astronomically high price of Rs 16,000 crore.

According to industry sources, a 10-second slot is being priced at Rs 12 lakh by Star India. Last year, the same slot was sold between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 10 lakh by the broadcaster— a jump of around 30%.


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