How IPL has changed the face of Digital Marketing – Great Learning

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Reading Time: 13 minutes
  1. Introduction
  2. IPL, Pandemic and Advertising Expenditure
  3. What value the IPL brings to digital marketing
  4. Why does digital marketing benefit from the Indian Premier League?
  5. 5 examples of brands that profited from IPL
  6. Conclusion

Introduction

What’s the one thing besides the players that is most common during the IPL (Indian Premier League) season?

Owners? Glamour quotient?

Well, the answer to this question is advertisements.

From the billboards, players’ jerseys, stumps, or your emails bulldozed with discounted F&B coupons… IPL is one of the most successful platforms for digital marketing.

IPL 2021 has begun. Hopefully, the staggering digital marketing industry of the country will see potential growth after a long slump that the COVID-19 has pandemic brought about.

Source: twitter.com/IPL
Diamond-encrusted trophy of IPL

IPL, pandemic and Advertising Expenditure

Sam Balsara, an advertising and media veteran, in an interview shared some insights that throw a much better picture on the advertising expenditure during the IPL season.

YearAdEx
2015Rs 1200 crores
2020Rs 2700 crores

Even though the first pandemic wave hit last year, an additional Rs 300 crores to Rs 2700 crores in Advertising Expense (AdEx) was spent during the lockdown to drive revenue and growth for major brands.

What does this mean?

This is the value that IPL brings to the marketing industry. The mutually beneficial relationship between the marketing industry and the IPL has flourished since the beginning; however, with the boom in digital marketing, the industry has only profited much more.

Let’s understand why digital marketing benefits from the IPL

  1. The three-hour format is attractive to all age groups and audience types,
  2. The match-slotting hours on weekdays from 8 PM-11 PM( now from 7:30 PM onwards) and double-headers on weekends make IPL a sporting event worth time and money.
  3. The emotional investment of fans with the tournament. The greater this association with cricket, the more the reason to support and buy a brand the tournament/ a team supports.
  4. Commercial sponsorships economically help lesser-known players and cricket associations with the necessary financial infrastructure and resources to play.
  5. Product placement during IPL season using various digital marketing hacks on TV, social media, and other modes of communication profits every single time.
  6. During the IPL, brand placement on the cricket field or in collaboration with a cricketer has also given the much-needed audience exposure to multiple brands and their products.

Now that we’ve understood the reasons how digital marketing benefits from IPL, let’s take a look at five brands whose fate IPL changed.

Source: twitter.com/IPL
View of the IPL match held at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad 

Brands that use digital marketing during IPL

1. Dream 11

Dream 11 became the title sponsor of IPL 2020 after Chinese company Vivo stepped down as an official IPL partner due to tense India-China relations last year.

As a result of this collaboration, the fantasy league brand surpassed 100 million registered users during the tournament, Special thanks to IPL’s dedicated audience and Dream 11’s ads and digital marketing campaigns on social media.

“As online fantasy sports is entirely based on live sporting events, it was a good opportunity for us to be visible at different fan touchpoints. Pitch report, toss, giving the ‘Dream11 GameChanger of the Match’ to the cricketer with the most fantasy sports points and so on were some richly organic moments where fans connected and interacted with our brand.”

  • Vikrant Mudaliar, chief marketing officer, Dream Sports & Dream11

He also added that during the tournament, the company catered to more than 80 million requests per minute.

2. MPL – Mobile Esports Platform

Although many digital marketing stalwarts have now distanced themselves from the IPL, calling it an overcrowded Kumbh* of brands, others continue to reap the benefits from this profitable partnership.

MPL sponsored KKR( Kolkata Knight Riders) and RCB( Royal Challengers Bangalore) and signed Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador last season.

As a result, the company witnessed a surge in the overall user base and other parameters. In fact, IPL has proven to be so beneficial for MPL that it’s SVP, growth, and marketing, Abhishek Madahavan said:

“If I had Rs 500 crore to spend in a year, I’d rather spend it on the 50 days of IPL rather than throughout the year because the amount of viewership it’s able to generate is huge for anyone looking to build a brand.”

3. CRED

Not just brands related to sports, but far removed sectors like fintech and electronics profit from digital marketing campaigns all through the IPL season.

Cred, last season’s official IPL partner, saw 2.4 million new customers during the two months of the IPL, a Forbes report estimated. Their niche ads featuring Madhuri Dixit, Bappi Lahiri, Govinda, and Udit Narayan set new creative benchmarks for advertising agencies: the perfect branding/marketing of a fintech brand with creative talent.

4. Muthoot Fincorp

Muthoot launched its product placement digital marketing campaign during the IPL 2020 season as a first-time IPL endorser of RCB. This Kerala-based fin corp ventured into the Northern and Eastern Indian market with a launch of its 4500 odd-branches coinciding with the IPL marketing/ brand promotions.

It also rolled out interest-free gold loans during the IPL to gain traction during the tournament.

All this led the company to witness a 54% rise in brand awareness and consideration. Close to 140 million digital impressions and 20 lakh inquiries at their call centers and branches during and post-IPL led to incredible growth for the company that saw an enormous decline in business during the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown.

5. Niine- Menstrual Hygiene Brand

As the principal sponsor of Rajasthan Royals since September 2020, Niine, a three-year-old company, first did only a logo placement on the back of players’ jerseys last year.

But, its digital marketing campaigns around menstrual hygiene led to a positive breakthrough for the company’s business.

Take a look at how Rajasthan Royals announced their partnership with Niine on Twitter.

Even though RR happened to be at the lowest spot on the table, Niine’s business grew. It gained a 3% pan-India market share. Within two months of IPL, the company recorded sanitary napkin sales worth Rs 20 crores as opposed to Rs 14 crores in the first three years of operation.

Caption: Source: twitter.com/IPL
An IPL match in action 

Conclusion

So, the numbers are all here to prove how IPL has changed the face of Digital marketing. But, it’s always a two-way street for all partnerships/relationships that wish to flourish.

Do you think if CRED had not done their advertising right, they would have managed to profit from the IPL, even if the entire world’s population saw cricket? No.

Digital marketing, if and when done right, can change the fate of any brand. Therefore, to learn the right marketing skills, one has to upskill with the right course. And, for that, my friends, we’re happy to introduce you to Great Lakes Executive Learning’s PG Program in Strategic Digital Marketing. The course is specifically designed for working professionals who want to match and contribute to the needs of the digital marketing industry.
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