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Star Plus hops on to the IPL bandwagon

MUMBAI: Star Plus, Star India’s flagship Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC), has signed on as the official on-ground associate sponsor of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) as it seeks to keep its numero uno position intact by riding on the popularity of the tournament.

With Star Plus on-board, the BCCI will also heave a sigh of relief as it was having a tough time in filling the on-ground sponsorship slots left vacant by the exit of Hero MotoCorp, Citi, Karbonn Mobiles and Volkswagen. The BCCI has now locked in three associate sponsors which includes Vodafone, Yes Bank and Star Plus in addition to title sponsor Pepsi.

According to a top sports marketing executive, the sponsorship deal between Star Plus and BCCI is in the region of Rs 300 to Rs 350 million annually.

This is not the first time a television channel has used IPL to reach out to its audience. Last year, Star India’s newly launched Hindi GEC Life OK had associated with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to raise its brand awareness.

“We are happy to be associated with the IPL primarily to drive our flagship channel, Star Plus. We saw a great opportunity to use this platform to communicate our brand promise of “Rishta Wahi, Soch Nayi”. We are also very keen to deepen what is

already a strong relationship with the BCCI. The power of Star‘s platform is unique and we are keen to leverage this to support BCCI’s efforts to increase the reach and popularity of IPL,” said Star India CEO Uday Shankar.

“Since its inception in 2008, the tournament has provided a platform to organisations, which are as passionate about achieving and maintaining standards of excellence as the IPL itself. Star India belongs to this elite fraternity. We look forward to a fruitful association with them,” said IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla.

The Pepsi IPL 2013 will be played from 3 April to 26 May. Nine teams will play each other twice – at home and away, in a total of 72 league matches. The top four teams, in terms of points, at the end of the league stage on 19 May will qualify for the Playoffs. The final will be played on 26 May at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

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