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Business News/ Industry / Media/  World Cup: Disney Star scores record sponsors, advertisers
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World Cup: Disney Star scores record sponsors, advertisers

Disney Star secures 21 sponsors and over 500 advertisers for the ICC Men's World Cup, exceeding revenue targets and attracting high viewership.

Ajit Varghese, head of network ad sales, Disney StarPremium
Ajit Varghese, head of network ad sales, Disney Star

Mumbai: Disney Star has secured 21 sponsors and more than 500 advertisers for the ICC Men’s World Cup, starting 5 October. As the exclusive broadcaster with media rights for television and digital platforms, it expects to finalize several more sponsorship agreements and onboard more advertisers for the tournament, Ajit Varghese, head of network ad sales, Disney Star, said in an interview.

While the company did not disclose its revenue targets for the ICC World Cup, it is poised to surpass previous ICC events and major sporting properties, including the Indian Premier League in terms of ad revenue, he added. “I cannot get into financial details, but can confirm that this year’s World Cup is attracting the highest viewership and the largest number of advertisers," Varghese said.

According to estimates, ad revenues during IPL 2023 by Disney Star (TV rights holder) and Viacom18 (digital rights), was at 3,500-3,800 crore.

“We are on track to generate highest revenue ever. It will be more than all past ICC events, or other sports tournaments this year. We expect over 800 million viewers through TV and digital platforms."

The sponsors are Phone Pe, Mahindra & Mahindra, Dream 11, Hindustan Unilever, Coca-Cola, Havells, IndusInd Bank, Pernod Ricard India,, Kingfisher Packaged Drinking Water, Mondelez, Peter England, Emirates, Diageo, Jindal Panther, LendingKart, MRF Tyres, Haier appliances, Herbalife, BPCL and AMFI. “We closed 21 sponsors, and are going to close another 5-6 sponsorship deals this week. There are over 500 advertisers on board and many more will join us. The biggest takeaway is we are seeing traction from both ends of the funnel—top end as well as the lower end. It shows that cricket in India still continues to grow," he added.

According to people in the know, Disney Star has clocked a few 150 crore-plus deals, while many first-time advertisers have come with 1-10 crore contracts. Categories, such as FMCG, which includes consumer packaged goods, are spending a fortune. Other big advertisers include auto firms, real estate, infrastructure and e-commerce companies.

Media experts said overall sentiment has improved, and it bodes well for Disney Star.

“We’ve witnessed uptick in overall demand, particularly in past three weeks, marking a positive shift from the first half of the year. This aligns with the festive season. There is robust interest spanning categories as well as small and large clients," said Amin Lakhani, chief executive, Mindshare South Asia.

“The demand is for both TV and digital platforms. The Indian cricket team’s impressive performance adds another layer of excitement to the mix, creating a favourable environment for sales. With several tailwinds propelling this momentum, anticipation is undeniably building up," he added.

In an earlier interaction, Varghese had told Mint that Disney Star, by virtue of being the largest broadcaster with the highest viewership share for entertainment on TV and digital, as well as a wide sports portfolio, will be looking at capturing almost 80% of the entire advertising spends on TV and digital platforms during the Asia Cup and the ICC Men’s World Cup.

To be sure, Disney Star is offering — across TV and digital — various plans for all kinds of advertisers, starting from as low as 1 crore. “We are making sure that the packages are flexible in many ways, be it feed-wise - HD and SD feeds, as well as language, feeds on TV; or at a package level, where you can either choose games or choose India plus non-India or completely non-India games. From 25 options earlier, now we are offering over 75 targeting options to our advertisers," he said.

The ICC World Cup 2023 will start on 5 October and the final will be played on 19 November.

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Gaurav Laghate
Gaurav Laghate is the chief of Mint's Consumer Bureau that covers FMCG, consumer durables, retail, media, advertising, hospitality, luxury and the business of sports. An accomplished business journalist with a career spanning over 15 years, he has reported on the significant advancements in the media and entertainment industry, as well as the business of sports. Beyond his role as a journalist, Gaurav is recognised as a steadfast observer of the media landscape, having spoken at several industry events and panels.
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Published: 02 Oct 2023, 11:03 PM IST
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