IPL 2018: Team sponsorship deals may see an uptick

MUMBAI: With barely two months to go before the eleventh season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) starts in April 2018, brands have begun their hunt to pick their favourite team to bid on and are rapidly putting together deals. The bigger team you pick, the more chances of your brand being visible on the field and earning you brownie points in the eyes of viewers and consumers. 

A lot is riding on this year’s season for sponsors as the T20 tournament has gone on to become the fifth most popular sports event in the world with more than 335 million viewers and the number only seems to be increasing every year. Last year, Star India won the global IPL media rights for Rs 16,347 crore for a period of five years. Since this is the first time both the TV and digital rights are with a single broadcaster, better synergies can be drawn between the TV and digital campaigns.

Gameplan Sports director Jeet Banerjee projects a rise in the sponsorships amount that brands will pay to teams this year as compared to previous seasons. “The amount will differ from team to team, but it will be in the range of 15-25 crores per annum,” he believes. 

According to an industry source who did not wish to be named, however, principal sponsor deals this year between teams and brands could range from Rs 8-12 crore per annum, more in line with previous years.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI), according to another source, are on their way to complete their inventory for the year 2018 with new sponsors and partners.

As the five-year deal between MI and Videocon d2h has come to an end, a new innings for Samsung has begun this season. Samsung, which was the official partner for MI, has now become the team’s lead sponsor. The team has a list of official partners including Performax, Kenstar, Taiwan Excellence and Usha.

Although Kingfisher is sponsoring all major teams this season as well,  Royal Rajasthan and Chennai Super Kings that are making a comeback this season are also interested in sponsoring with Kingfisher and the brand is in talk with teams to consider it.

United Breweries Group chief marketing officer Samar Singh Shekhawat believes IPL is the perfect sport for the brand to invest in as the league is all about fun, glamour, colour, youth and energy. Because the brand is not allowed to do television and other traditional advertising for its product due to government regulations that prohibits any alcohol advertising on the platform, IPL works best for the company.

The brand is considering a lot of on-ground activation this year and is working and debating with 3-4 agencies that have pitched presentations for UB.

Radio station radio city 91.1fm’s five-year official partnership deal with the Mumbai Indians ended this year but is said to be in discussions with the team to renew the partnership.

While CSK has Muthoot Finance as its principal team partner, the right chest of the team’s jerseys will bear the logos of India Cement, which has come on board as the team’s official cement partner, and Gulf, which is its official lubricant partner. Other partners include Nippon Paint as the official paint partner, Equitas as the official retail banking partner, HIL as the official partner and ACT Fibernet as the official connectivity partner.

This season, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) has water purifier brand Kent RO as its title sponsor while detergent brand Fena, Royal Stag and Lotus Herbals have come on board as official partners and will be featured on the team’s jerseys. The team, with its fresh squad, is planning to change its team name and shift its base out of Punjab.

Sony Pictures Network successfully managed to elevate the IPL’s position year after year. The turn of events is going to be interesting now with Star India planning to make the IPL a six-month-long fiesta with new-age technology, putting fans at the heart of the experience.

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