For many brands, associating with one team is not enough during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
There has been a significant rise in the number of brands that have opted for multi-team brand sponsorship deals.
For example, electronics brand boAt is the audio partner of as many as six IPL teams -- Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals, and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
‘Home is the stadium’
During the announcement of partnerships with multiple IPL teams, boAt Lifestyle’s co-founder Aman Gupta had said that the 13th edition of IPL will give the right push to not only speakers, sound bars, and earphones but the overall audio industry, as for this IPL, the home will become the stadium.
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Last year, boAt had struck sponsorship deals with two teams -- Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians.
Another brand, Colgate, has become the smile partner of six IPL teams -- Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Tyre manufacturing company Balkrishna Industries Ltd (BKT) have also associated with as many six IPL teams. Both Colgate and BKT had not sponsored any team last year.
16-17 brands opt for multi-team deals
“The number of companies opting for multi-team sponsor deals has gone up this year. As many as 16-17 brands have opted for multi-team sponsorship deals, as compared to 6-7 last IPL,” Santosh N, Managing Partner, D and P Advisory LLP and external advisor, Duff & Phelps, told Moneycontrol.
Brands like Jio, Dream11, and Kingfisher have mostly opted for sponsoring more than one team in the previous seasons of IPL, he said.
Low level of investment one factor
“Since team tie-ups are comparatively inexpensive, this strategy ensures brand visibility at a low level of investment. Dream 11, Jio and Kingfisher have done this before to multiply viewership,” said Sandeep Goyal, chief mentor at Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB).
In fact, Kingfisher was the first brand to associate with all the teams, said Santosh.
Remember when top cricketers from all teams like Virat Kohli from Royal Challengers Bangalore or Rohit Sharma from Mumbai Indians, came together to hum the Kingfisher signature tune ‘Oo La La La Le O’.
“This year, the opportunity to put hoardings around boundaries is gone as there is no audience in the stadium. So the only viewership that brands will get will be on TV and online. This is why more brands are opting to tie up with teams to put their brands on the sleeves or back of team jerseys,” said Santosh.
He pointed out another reason. “Being the main sponsor of a team means spending around Rs 25 crore-Rs 50 crore. But for a small sponsorship deal for the same amount, a brand can sponsor six teams or may be all the eight teams. And this increases a brand’s visibility as it will be visible across all matches. Like boAt has spent around Rs 30 to Rs 40 crore and got six teams.”
Adding to this, Goyal said that multiple sponsorships are like taking OTS insurance. “OTS is an age-old concept in media. Opportunity To See. By tying with multiple teams, brands are ensuring that they are visible throughout the tournament and not missed for long stretches of time on screen.”
However, he believes that such deals do not necessarily move the needle on sales or salience.