IPL’s Yet to Open its Ad Ac­count in Sea­son 10

BCCI tur­moil hits tour­na­ment’s mar­ketabil­ity, note ban makes cos cau­tious on spends

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire -

Ratna Bhushan & Shamb­havi Anand

New Delhi: In­dian Pre­mier League, the coun­try’s most lu­cra­tive sport­ing event, is miss­ing the usual mar­ket­ing buzz so far this year, and some ad­ver­tis­ers and me­dia firms blame it on de­mon­eti­sa­tion and the on­go­ing tur­moil within the In­dian cricket board.

“BCCI (Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia) is it­self in a flux and that has im­pacted IPLs mar­ketabil­ity at least till now,” said Ashish Bhasin, chair­man, South Asia at ad agency Dentsu Aegis Net­work. “Be­sides, the cur­rency ban has also made com­pa­nies more cau­tious on spends,” he said.

This year so far, no ma­jor spon­sor­ship or mar­ket­ing deal has been an­nounced, un­like pre­vi­ous years when big ticket deals for the pop­u­lar twenty20 tour­na­ment would start by early February, said ex­ec­u­tives of ad­ver­tis­ing and me­dia buy­ing firms, and com­pa­nies that in­vest heav­ily in cricket.

“So far, the mar­ket­ing buzz has been very sub­dued; that is un­like the pre­vi­ous years,” said an of­fi­cial from the bev­er­age in­dus­try, which is a sig­nif­i­cant ad­ver­tiser dur­ing IPL be­cause it co­in­cides with sum­mer sea­son. “We have not yet fi­nalised our plans,” said the per­son who re­quested not to be iden­ti­fied.

This will be the tenth edi­tion of IPL that takes place dur­ing April-May.

A query sent to BCCI chief ex­ec­u­tive Rahul Johri re­mained unan­swered till the time of go­ing to print on Tuesday.

Ro­hit Gupta, pres­i­dent for ad sales and in­ter­na­tional busi­ness at Sony Pic­tures Net­works, the of­fi­cial broad­caster of IPL, ex­uded con­fi­dence that its IPL rev­enues will match pre­vi­ous years. “Three-fourths of the spon­sors of last year will be back in sea­son 10. The is­sues with BCCI are in­ter­nal and will not im­pact IPL,” he said in re­sponse to ET‘ s query.

Last sea­son, the short-for­mat league earned close to .₹ 2,500 crore in rev­enues, in­clu­sive of ad sales and spon­sor­ships. Sony Pic­tures had earned about .₹ 1,100 crore from ad sales. Rev­enue earned by broad­cast rights holder Pic­tures from ad sales Sony BCCI’s earn­ings from on-ground spon­sor­ships

(in 2016) spent 20 crore on IPL, said it would in­vest what was needed to ‘op­ti­mise the IPL as­so­ci­a­tion’ chair­man, Madi­son World

Sam Bal­sara, chair­man at Madi­son World, agreed that the gen­eral mood seems to be low. “We are still re­cov­er­ing from the Novem­ber-De­cem­ber (de­mon­eti­sa­tion) on­slaught and peo­ple are not mak­ing big com­mit­ments yet. It will take a few months to get back to a healthy growth rate. The BCCI tur­moil has also had an ef­fect be­cause what’s hap­pen­ing is se­ri­ous.” The Supreme Court had last month re­moved top brass of BCCI, in­clud­ing pres­i­dent Anurag Thakur and sec­re­tary Ajay Shirke for re­sist­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of Lodha panel rec­om­men­da­tions to clean up cricket ad­min­is­tra­tion in the coun­try. The court then ap­pointed a four-mem­ber com­mit­tee, headed by for­mer CAG Vinod Rai, to over­see the board.

While this and the over­all slow­down in con­sumer spend­ing af­ter the gov­ern­ment dele­galised 86% of cur­rency in cir­cu­la­tion in early Novem­ber may have im­pacted mar­keters’ con­fi­dence in the COO, Spykar

run-up to IPL, many ex­perts feel the mo­men­tum would pick up even­tu­ally. Mean­swear brand Spykar Lifestyle, which spent .₹ 20 crore on the IPL last year, said it would in­vest what was needed to op­ti­mise the as­so­ci­a­tion. “Cricket and es­pe­cially IPL is so en­trenched in the psy­che of the In­dian au­di­ences that it will be dif­fi­cult for any such even­tu­al­i­ties to im­pact the tour­na­ment,” Spykar COO San­jay Vakharia said. “The changes at the top will not hurt In­dian cricket at large,” he said.

Player auc­tion will take place in Ben­galuru next Mon­day. Last week BCCI called for TV and dig­i­tal rights for 2018 on­wards, and is ex­pect­ing any­where be­tween .₹ 18,000 and .₹ 30,000 crore.

Cricket and es­pe­cially IPL is so en­trenched in the psy­che of the In­dian au­di­ences that it will be dif­fi­cult for any such even­tu­al­i­ties to im­pact the tour­na­ment. The changes at the top will not hurt In­dian cricket at large

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