In-depth: What categories of brands will shine this IPL season?

Start-ups, as compared to traditional brands, have started becoming aggressive advertisers in IPL. spoke to industry experts to find out the various categories that can make the most out of IPL this year

Roohi Gupta
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In-depth: What categories of brands will shine this IPL season?

This year with the addition of two new teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, and an increased count of matches, the opportunities for brands to associate themselves with the mega event has swelled up.

Disney Star garnered Rs 3,200 crore in advertising revenues from IPL 2021. This year, the official broadcast partner of IPL is eyeing Rs 4,000 crore advertising revenue mark. Even BCCI will be earning more than Rs 1,000 crore from sponsorships this IPL season.

Disney Star has roped in 15 TV and 13 digital sponsors, while BCCI has onboarded nine sponsors.

Interestingly, cricket contributed 77% to the total sponsorship spends amounting to Rs 2,212 crore in 2021, according to GroupM ESP Sporting Nation Report 2022. spoke to industry experts to find out the various categories that are likely to spend heavily during IPL 2022 in order to grab maximum eyeballs, brand building and ROI.

Traditional brands vs Start-ups

A trend that has come to notice is that over the years, start-ups have shown keen interest in spending on IPL, while traditional brands, who were the pioneers in the early IPL days, have started taking a backseat.

The official partners of Tata IPL 2022 include start-ups like RuPay, Unacademy, Cred, Upstox and Swiggy Instamart. Not just that, but the sponsors for various teams include multiple start-ups like Pristyn Care, Zepto, Niyo, Spotify, Livspace and Spinny.

V Sudarshan

V Sudarshan, CEO, Techlutions and also Brand Consultant on IPL spends effectiveness, said, “The market is booming and there are many start-ups coming in. However, I don't know if they have the capacity to spend like Byju’s or Dream11. Ideally, the sponsorship over time will come back to the kind of brands that were taking it earlier. There will be Thums up, Amazon, FMCG players. Start-ups will be there but over time, even they will realise that the incremental reach isn't coming.”

Praveen Nijhara

To which, Praveen Nijhara, CEO, Hansa Research, added, “The advertisers’ landscape was drastically different a mere five years ago, with durable and personal care brands hogging the airtime.”

According to Hansa Research’s IPLomania study, a steady ascension in Edtech, E-Wallets/DPS and Fintech brands' advertising is seen during IPL. Brands like Byju’s, Dream11, PayTM, PhonePe, Amazon Pay, Cred, etc. have garnered excellent recall in the recent seasons, thus helping these young brands find their feet quickly,” he added.

Piyush Nangru

Piyush Nangru, Co-Founder, Sunstone Eduversity, one of the associate sponsors of Lucknow Super Giants, said, “The IPL is a favourable proposition for many established categories- F&B, handsets, e-commerce, and even seasonal categories such as ACs/coolers have always spent big on IPL and would continue to do so. New-age brands from e-commerce, gaming, ed-tech and e-wallet sectors will continue to show increasing interest in IPL.”

Anita Nayyar

Anita Nayyar, COO, Media and Communications, Patanjali, said, “There has been a lot of churns, from Pepsi to someone like Dream11 or Byju’s, vivo. Even though Tata is a traditional brand, they took it up. They (Star and BCCI) will always look for newer categories to come on board.  I think it's just a question of a brand being able to afford it.”

Categories that can steal the show in 2022

After crypto players opted out of IPL advertising this year and fantasy gaming platforms leveraging the opportunity to connect with maximum users, the question is is it going to be a category game this time?

Earlier, cola and snacks brands, instant food companies, automobiles, smartphones, telecom, e-commerce were the major categories to advertise on IPL. However, with evolving consumer behaviour and market trends, new categories like edtech, fintech, fantasy gaming, pay wallets, e-pharma etc have also created room for themselves.

“Categories such as edtech, fantasy sports, fashion, e-commerce FMCG, financial services, pay wallets, auto makers and home décor will always have a keen interest in IPL due to its scale,” said Nangru of Sunstone Eduversity.

Shripad Kulkarni

Shripad Kulkarni, Marcom Advisor and former MD, Vizeum, believes that EdTech, BFSI and auto have been the mainstay in the past sometimes. “I would see a greater contribution from the new economy brands. Also, e-commerce and pharma will come into the big picture in the coming years,” he said.

Nijhara of Hansa Research said, “With IPL being a huge draw among the male audiences, this year we can expect a heightened interest in many male-centric categories such as Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports and Automobiles.”

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