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Nov 22, 2012, 03.17 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

New IPL sponsors Pepsi may make life tough for Coca-Cola

Pepsi IPL! That's what the next 5 editions of the Indian Premiere League will be called. The cola giant has bagged the title sponsorship for nearly Rs 400 crore, pipping Airtel in the process.

Pepsi IPL that's what the next 5 editions of the Indian Premiere League will be called. The cola giant has bagged the title sponsorship for nearly Rs 400 crore, pipping Airtel in the process. But CNBC-TV18’s Pavni Mittal and Animesh Das find out if the price is right.

Pepsi's not changing the game, but it's definitely changing the name... Seasons 6 to 10 of the Indian Premier League will be known as the Pepsi IPL.

But this came with a hefty price tag. Pepsi paid the BCCI Rs 396.8 crore to be the title sponsor rights for the next 5 years. That's almost 60% higher than the Rs 250 crore paid by DLF to purchase the title rights to the league in 2008.

Sources say the only other bidder was Bharti Airtel which bid Rs 350 crore.

But the jury's already out on whether Pepsi's paid too high a price. After all, viewership for the IPL has taken a beating. IPL 5 averaged just 3.45 TVRs, the lowest in its five year history.

Shailendra Singh, Joint MD, Percept Holdings says Pepsi will get money's worth because it will be able to leverage well and will make money back. He says there will be loopholes, but Pepsi will look to avoid any chance of ambush. That it will look at making things tough for Coke.

So while Pepsi's sponsorship will definitely add some extra fizz to the cola-wars, the biggest benefactor here would be Brand IPL.

Whose value has fallen 29% over the last two years - from 4.1 billion dollars in 2010 to 2.9 billion dollars in 2012.

Shailendra Singh says IPL brand and performance plateaued, but getting brands like Pepsi to back them is excellent for BCCI win-win for both.

IPL 6 has bagged its title sponsor....but that’s just the beginning of the story. The BCCI still faces the challenge of sealing fresh associate sponsors as its contracts with existing sponsors Vodafone, Hero MotoCorp, and Citibank also came to an end in July.

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