With three weeks to go for the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the country’s cricket administrative body and organizer of the league, and Sony Entertainment Television Pvt. Ltd (SET), which has telecast rights for the matches, are both close to finalizing sponsors.
SET has signed up South Korean car makerHyundai Motor India Ltd and telecom firm Vodafone Group Plc. as presenting sponsors and Max New York Life Insurance Co., Godrej Appliances Ltd and Coca Cola India Inc. as associate sponsors, said Rohit Gupta, president, network sales and revenue management, digital and syndication, SET. The fourth associate sponsor is likely to be Nokia, according to a senior media buyer who did not wish to be identified.
Gupta added that although SET had originally wanted six associate sponsors, it eventually settled on four because of “huge demand for spot buys that prompted us to cut down on the sponsorship deals and allow more room for others.” He said Videocon Industries Ltd, Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd and Unitech Ltd had already bought spots.
Meanwhile, BCCI has earned Rs4,332 crore from sponsorship deals. Real estate firm DLF Ltd is the title sponsor; Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, the umpire sponsor and travel partners; SET and sports marketing and management agency World Sports Group, the media partners; two-wheeler firm Hero Honda Motors Ltd, the associate ground sponsor; PepsiCo India Holdings Ltd the beverage partners; and ITC Welcomgroup, the hospitality partner. “There are still two more sponsorship deals to go which we are in signing stages with,” says Sundar Raman, chief executive, IPL.
Media buyers say SET’s strategy is aimed at maximising ad revenues. With only 2,000 seconds of commercial time in each IPL game, which has 20 overs against the 6,000 seconds for a one-day international where each team plays 50 overs, SET’s 10-second spots were sold at Rs2.5 lakh for presenting and associate sponsors. “By cutting down on two sponsors, Sony’s strategy is basically ‘less is more’,” said another media buyer.
As previously reported by Mint, SET is also charging the sponsors and associate sponsors a premium to keep out ads from competing brands.