Covid-19 has done little to dent the 13th edition of the IPL tournament, to held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10, if the sponsor line-up for the teams and the broadcaster are anything to go by.
Star India, the official media rights holder of the Indian Premier League, is learnt to have finalised sponsorship agreements with eight brands so far. Media agency sources said that while Amazon, Dream11 and PhonePe will come on board as co-presenting sponsors, other key sponsors include Mondelez India, ITC Foods, Polycab, MRF and Kamla Pasand.
When contacted, Star India did not comment on the sponsorship agreements, but said it has not cut ad rates. As this season coincides with the festival period, the broadcaster said, it has witnessed a significant interest from brands across categories including auto, gaming, education, consumer durables, FMCG and e-commerce.
Gautam Thakar, CEO, Star Sports, told BusinessLine: “Our pricing remains the same as what was planned for March 2020. The regional language channels continue to be our focus with exciting content line-up being planned. We are confident of setting a new viewership record, with matches starting half-hour early, lesser doubleheaders, and the sheer size of home-bound audience.”
The broadcaster’s asking price is estimated at ₹12 lakh to ₹12.5 lakh per 10 seconds. A senior executive with a media planning agency said with the reduction in ad budgets due to the pandemic, brands may look at shifting their ad spends from other genres to IPL.
Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India, said that despite the softness in the market, many advertisers are looking at associating with IPL across both the TV and digital platforms to build more visibility. “Brands will look to leverage on IPL to boost sales and consumer sentiment during the upcoming festival season,” he added.
The IPL franchises are also busy closing their sponsorship deals. Dhiraj Malhotra, CEO, Delhi Capitals, said: “We have added 3-4 new sponsors as some brands decided to pause their agreement with us for this season. At the same time, we are looking to increase the overall tally of official sponsors this season while leveraging on digital content and platforms for deepening our engagement with fans.”
Delhi Capitals recently roped in JSW Group as its principal sponsor, replacing Daikin India.
Jake Lush McCrum, COO, Rajasthan Royals, said the team has retained some sponsors from last season and also secured some ‘high-quality’ new partners.
Sunrisers Hyderabad announced its partnership with 13 sponsors including JK Lakshmi Cement, Ralco Tyres and Valvoline. Meanwhile, Mobile Premier League has announced a sponsorship pact with Royal Challengers Bangalore.