In order to increase retail consumption, brands are all set to invest close to Rs 2,500-3,000 crore over the period of next four months on the action packed T20 matches to gain ground and on air sponsorship.
The T20 action started with the three T20 games at the end of India's Australia tour in January and will be followed up by three games with Sri Lanka in February, the 2016 Asia Cup in its new T20 avatar at the end of February leading into the T20 World Cup in March, followed by the Indian Premier League (IPL) with its latest 10 team format starting April till the end of May.
Basabdatta Chowdhury, chief operating officer of Starcom Mediavest said that as the negative sentiment around the economy wanes and brands see consumption pick up, they are putting their monies on properties that bring in best returns. Cricket does bring impulsion to the brands.
Ratings agency Moody's India affiliate ICRA has projected an uptick in consumption this year following the pay revision for Central government employees and pensioners and potential upswing in farm output which could lead to higher rural demand.
Star, which is the official broadcaster for much of this T20 season Sri Lanka series, Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup has signed up Oppo Mobiles, car maker Nissan, ecommerce portal Flipkart and telecom services provider Airtel as co-presenting sponsors and Raymond, Cricbuzz, Vimal Pan Masala, Lloyd, MRF, Cadburys and Pepsi as associate sponsors for the T20 World Cup,
According to a spokesperson there is a strong interest from various companies and have successfully signed some of the most prominent brands. Anticipation among fans is high and interest from advertisers for all three series is strong, especially after the recent T20 thumping, wherein India defeated Australia on their home turf hands down.
Sky Li, president of OPPO India confirmed that they have signed up as the co-presenting sponsor for the T20 World Cup. Official broadcaster of IPL, Sony Pictures Network, on the other hand, has already sold about 70% of the on-air inventory.
Telecom services provider Vodafone, ecommerce platform Amazon and first time advertiser Oppo have been signed as presenting sponsors while Coca-Cola, discount wallet FreeCharge, Ceat Tyres, Vimal Pan Masala and Tata Sky are associate sponsors.
It is after a gap of three years beverage maker Coca Cola, apart from bagging associate sponsorship slot on-air, is now talking with individual IPL teams for sponsorships.
A Coca-Cola spokesperson said that they are interested in sport as an opportunity to scale up their brand connections. Cricket is a very popular sport in the country and their association with sport is long standing.
Sony is expected to get around Rs 1,200 crore from IPL this year, while the T20 World Cup could bring in around Rs 600 crore for Star, considering it has less number of matches than IPL. The Asia Cup, which has only 11 matches, four of which are India matches, is expected to fetch between Rs 100-150 crore while the three match India-Sri Lanka T20 series could bring in Rs 30-40 crore for Star. Beyond the on-air sponsorship opportunities of on ground sponsorship for all T20 events is likely to garner around Rs 500-600 crore and digital, mostly for Star, is expected to bring in around Rs 150-200 crore.
Vinit Karnik, business head at ESP Properties, a sports and entertainment consultancy of media management giant Group M said that the shorter format of the game is the flavor of the season. From an audience point of view, the consumer mind space is getting attracted to this format and that can be seen in the numbers as well. The India-Sri Lanka series and Asia Cup would be a build up to the T20 World Cup and the IPL later.
Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director at Madison World, said that cricket remains an attractive proposal and at the beginning of the year, is a good bet for many categories to invest on. It is natural to expect cricket to mop up good money, at times even at the cost of other media.