The Indian Premier League (IPL) rolls into its third season and this year the Indian fans will catch the action live. The retailers too are all set to grab a bigger slice of opportunity.
Spicing up the IPL
Industry estimates are that, restaurants, lounges and pubs that make special arrangements during the IPL shall witness an increase of 20–25 per cent in the number of people visiting these places and an increase of 15- 30 per cent in revenues. Restaurateurs willing to serve this hunger are setting up big screens and are naming dishes and drinks after cricketers, celebrities, cricket fielding positions and even the IPL team names. Along with this, the home delivery business will also pick up in a big way for people who like to get together with friends at home and cheer their teams.
Excitement of the big screen
The IPL will feature in theatres this year also, but this time around 1000 screens across the country will telecast the IPL matches live. The matches will be screened in high definition offering a 33 per cent better view than television with the advantage of commercial break free experience. UFO Moviez, a digital satellite cinema network, has entered into an alliance with the various multiplexes and single screen theatres across the country for bringing the matches live to people on the big screen. To add to the excitement merchandise, gifts and multi-cuisine food stalls will be set up in theatres.
Revenues from advertising on television are also bound to be large. SET Max, the official broadcaster of the sporting event, has already sold 85 per cent of its advertising inventory.
Dressing the fans
Sports merchandising contributes 30 to 35 per cent of the total revenue for most sports bodies in countries like the US and the UK. Though, the concept is relatively new in India, all the IPL teams have tied up with various retailers to make available the team merchandise for their fans and generate revenues other than what is collected from the central pool. This season not only can you get your favourite team jerseys, but you can also lay hands on slippers, floaters, shoes, caps, key chains, trumpets, balls signed by cricketers, banners, wristbands, tattoos, flags, mugs, writing instruments, lassi (Butter milk) glasses, bottle chillers and so on. You can get these at Reebok, Adidas and Puma showrooms across the country and also purchase them online. Branding at and outside the venues will give the much needed boost to the sale of merchandise. For those who want to buy the merchandise beforehand can find the merchandise online on various websites. eBay India an exclusive alliance with Hot Muggs, is offering fervent cricket fans a chance to own exquisite merchandise of Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings.
Spread the word
Having to fulfill the ever increasing desire of the fans who wish to know their favourite players and behind-the-scene stories is also a task for the IPL teams. The Royal Challengers team brought about a lifetime opportunity for four lucky winners of the Fanatic Fans Challenge Season 2. The four winners will be given the opportunity to stay and travel along with the Royal Challengers team, and granted preferential access to all RCB matches. They will fulfill their duties as ‘content contributors’ to the RCB Fan oriented sections of the Royal Challengers website, during the IPL. Anil Kumble, Captain, Royal Challengers, said, “It is fabulous to see the fans and their undying faith in the team. The chosen 4 now have an excellent but a huge responsibility to run the Royal Challengers Fan channel during IPL. They will bring alive the behind-the-scene stories and constantly update the site with insights and news. I congratulate the four winners and welcome them to take on the challenge this season.” For retailers to associate with such a contest can make for good publicity and prove to be a profitable brand marketing strategy.
Not only IPL will keep the whole nation on their toes, but for two months the retailers will be singing their way to the bank. It is a win-win situation for everyone!