Star Sports bundles World Cup with IPL, attempts performance marketing on TV

From bundling to unbundling, Star Sports is offering different pricing strategies to target all sizes of advertisers. The broadcaster is for the first time attempting to offer near-performance marketing solutions

Akansha Srivastava
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Kingshuk Mitra Star Sports

Kingshuk Mitra

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New Delhi: Star Sports has offered an IPL plus T20 World Cup deal to its select large advertisers seeking a much longer presence, said Kingshuk Mitra - Head of Ad Sales at Star Sports.

Scheduled to take place from June 1, the World Cup will be played soon after the IPL and the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

Instead of finding it challenging to sell the World Cup right after IPL, Star Sports is trying to turn the tide in its favour and use it as one of the biggest advantages as the broadcaster holds the media rights for both tournaments.

“During IPL, we offered the IPL plus World Cup combo package to our large clients so that they can leverage the pricing strategy. So in a way that has helped us get a lot of these deals beforehand, Mitra told

Explaining how this move would help advertisers, Mitra said that the IPL plus World Cup combo is aimed at delivering maximum ROI.

“Some clients are using IPL as a platform to launch the product with a big bang and then do a sustenance campaign on World Cup. So it's a very interesting way of owning the entire summer season until June,” he said.

Mitra claimed that Star Sports’ focus on smaller clients worked well as it has been able to rope in those advertisers who were looking to advertise on the news genre during the Lok Sabha elections.

“Our cricket pricing is not in a bundled form anymore. Today if a client wants to advertise only in the regional feed, or SD feed or HD feed, they can. So today I have a client who is spending as low as Rs 50 lakh to a crore to 100 crore. So the client participation has gone up significantly,” he said.

Talking about what new Star Sports is offering to the advertisers this World Cup season, Mitra said that the broadcaster is taking television advertising closer to performance marketing with the help of many firsts in sports broadcasting.

“One, of course, is the Tata Play partnership that we have due to which our clients are able to do a lot sharper targeting the high net-worth individuals across the topic metros,” Mitra said.

“The second product that we have introduced is Star Deals. It changes the way the viewers engage with ads and it provides brands different avenues to leverage a direct interaction with the viewers,” he added.

“On the back of tech intervention, there is a synchronization between the way the ad appears on TV versus the notification that happens on the second screen. And that helps the advertiser to close the loop. This is the first time around that we are trying to measure responsiveness on television,” Mitra said.

Moreover, Mitra said that the influencer marketing solution has worked well.

“This is largely leveraging the might of Star Sports talent or the anchors that we have to drive brand proposition by custom content. A lot of our clients are asking us to create a custom brand solution given the marketing objective,” he said.

According to Mitra, content, when it's placed in the context of cricket, the ad recall is phenomenal.

Star Sports’ fourth solution beyond plain vanilla advertising is in-studio product placement.

“Take for example Cricket Live, which is the wrap-around show that we have. And this show delivers more than 400 million plus reach. Clients can put their product in the show, of course, making sure that it's not intrusive and it's kind of seamlessly fit into the show format. If a client wants to launch a bike, it can be displayed in the studio,” Mitra said.

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