Home / Industry / Advertising /  IPL ads are expensive: Coca-Cola’s Roy


Live sports will continue to remain Coca-Cola India’s most effective tool to advertise, the soft drinks brand said, even as it prepares for the Men’s T20 World Cup.

“Live sports are the only way for companies to get a faster reach and build up," said Arnab Roy, vice president and head, marketing, Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia. However, Indian Premier League (IPL) has become very expensive to advertise on, he added.

According to a five-year global partnership it signed in 2019, Coca-Cola will be the official sponsor for all ICC events, including the T20 World Cups for both men and women, and the Men’s Cricket World Cup in India in 2023. “With ICC we feel good about how much we are paying and we think it is a very effective investment. It is one of our pretty long-standing partnerships and we continue to build that relationship. We’ve got tremendous value not just in India, but in other markets as well," Roy said.

However, the advertising rates are likely to go up for IPL. “And we think it’s very expensive. At the end of the day, it is about a return-on-investment-driven game. We’ve not made a decision whether we want to advertise in IPL or not," he said.

Meanwhile, the company has finalized its activation plan for the ICC T20 World Cup, which will be held in Australia, with a digital-first approach. “This is going to be an experiment with ideas such as the stump camera to give fans exclusive access to match footage and content," Roy said. Coca-Cola India’s billion-dollar brand Thums Up is launching the ‘Stump Cam’ campaign featuring Jasprit Bumrah and Umran Malik, and former Australian great Brett Lee. It seeks to amplify Thums Up’s initiative by offering exclusive match moments.

Roy refused to share the company’s advertising budget for India, but said: “We will not cut down on marketing spends as the category is all about marketing. It has been a fantastic year from a business standpoint so far."

The firm has also invested in other sports. For instance, it launched an isotonic drink brand Limca Sportz having Neeraj Chopra as the brand ambassador. Besides, it has launched a marketing initiative, global meals experience platform titled ‘Coca-Cola is Cooking’, wherein it will collaborate with food companies to serve dishes along with its aerated beverages.


Varuni Khosla

Varuni Khosla is a journalist with close to 14 years of experience in writing business news stories for mainstream newspaper companies like Mint and The Economic Times. She reports and writes on luxury and lifestyle brands, hospitality and tourism news, the business of sports, the business of advertising and marketing and alcohol brands.
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