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News Flash: IPL continues to be a TV-first property; however, engagement on digital is higher: Havas’ Hi-Cricket 2022 report

The report states that over the years female viewership of the game has only increased. 36% state they will watch each and every match, while 44% state they watch matches wherein their favourite player/ team is playing

Havas Media Group India has exclusively partnered with YouGov, a global research and analytics agency, for its syndicated study that helps advertisers measure the impact of their ads during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.

Some of the pre-findings of IPL 2022 are as follows:

  1. IPL has a huge fan following, who are not only avid viewers but are also engaged with the game at all levels - 41% state they will watch each and every match | 47% follow stats closely | 55% actively participate on social media with posts, comments, match analytics.
  2. IPL is an emotion shared with family and friends. 54% state they watch it with entire family | 44% watch it with friends and colleagues.
  3. Over the years female viewership of the game has only increased. 36% state they will watch each and every match, while 44% state they watch matches wherein their favourite player/ team is playing.
  4. Powerplay and Death Overs are the most popular segments.
  5. Viewers on Digital have higher involvement compared to TV. Fantasy leagues are gaining popularity. 31% created their own team in 2021.

In comparison to last year’s Hi-Cricket study, there has been a 20% jump with 41% of fans this year saying that they will watch each and every match. It is evident that IPL as a brand is only increasing in popularity with each passing year.

Over the multiple waves that we covered, there has also been a significant jump in brand recall and familiarity across various categories like Auto, E-commerce, Food Delivery etc. over the course of IPL, making this study an ideal indicator of brand health. The study also shows that under the lens of Havas’ Meaningful Brand’s attributes, the personal (value for money and convenience) and collective perceptions (trust and respect) across brands show an upward trend.

The company said that Hi-Cricket is the flagship property of Havas Sports and Entertainment and going forward, this study will be much bigger. In the future editions of the study, the intent is to cover other sports leagues with the number of cities covered and the respondent base being much larger.

This recent study comes at a time when the economy is expected to make the most robust recovery on the back of buoyant market sentiments as the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to take the centre stage in the endemic world. Over the years besides delivering high-level sports and entertainment, IPL has become the biggest and most sought-after platform to drive brand building and engagement. The study helps establish the efficacy of IPL as a platform when it comes to influencing mind measures and also answers one of the most critical questions that advertisers have today: the role of premium buys on brand health.

The company said, “Hi-Cricket 2022 will help brands to further bolster their meaningful connect with consumers and will also identify the most Meaningful campaigns during IPL. Havas’ Meaningful Brands framework constitutes of benefits brands offer - Functional (What does the product or service deliver?), Personal (How brands improve people's lives?) and Collective benefits (What’s their role in society?). Past learnings show that these benefits collectively drive brand performance.”

The study is critical for us to understand the sentiments and performance of IPL in influencing brand metrics as several of our key clients are part of the tournament through various associations. Every year, Havas Media Group India commissions the Hi-Cricket study to understand the overall sentiments regarding the tournament and each of its elements including delivery, driving engagement for consumers, and creating unique brand experiences.

The objective of the Hi-Cricket study is to understand these nuances so that brands can understand how the association is driving meaningfulness for them. This study captures all that brands are doing including on-ground sponsorships, innovations, exclusive tie-ups and so on, to understand which element drives the highest engagement/ROI for them. 

The Hi-Cricket 2022 study is being conducted across key markets in India - Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Chandigarh. 2700+ respondents are being interviewed using a structured quantitative research questionnaire over 3 waves - before the event (Pre-IPL wave), during the event (1 wave – 30d post-start) and post the event. The sampling frame will constitute YouGov’s online panel of 200,000 active respondents encompassing the top four metros and 7 Top tier 1 cities. The eligible respondents i.e., IPL viewers would be selected from the panel using stratified random sampling (maintaining a representation of genders and age groups). The sample size is two lakhs.

Deepa Bhatia, General Manager, India, YouGov, said, “The Hi-Cricket research that YouGov India conducts annually in partnership with Havas Media Group India has become one of the most pivotal research exercises for us. Hi-Cricket provides an in-depth, customised look into the coveted Indian Premier League (IPL) as an advertising and sponsorship vehicle and is an invaluable tool for brands and marketers to understand how the tournament delivers on their marketing objectives. This is critical given the exponential growth in investment that’s pumped into this cricketing extravaganza by brands, which has in fact made the IPL the biggest platform to create long-term brand image and value. IPL 2022 is coming back with its first season in an endemic world. This study is designed to deliver valuable insights into a post-Covid world, within Havas' Meaningful Brands framework."

Sanchita Roy, Head of Strategy, Havas Media Group India, said, “Hi-Cricket 2022 is in alignment with our philosophy of ‘Meaningful Media’ - fundamentally, this means media that is trusted, engaging and influential – and YouGov’s Cube philosophy (people, time and variables). The recent study tracks the impact of IPL 2022 on brand metrics in the endemic world as people have finally come out of isolation. IPL is all about community building and enjoying the sports league with family and friends, so sentiments surrounding it are undoubtedly high. Involvement with IPL goes far beyond the actual matches as there are peripheral properties including Fantasy Leagues and Gaming that ensure high engagement of viewers thereby making it the best choice for brands to connect with the audience. This makes Hi-Cricket a real-time solution that consistently and accurately measures and monitors brand trends based on key indicators. It helps us identify the most Meaningful Brands and drive Meaningful Conversations with our clients as we help them understand the overall impact of their association with the IPL.”

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