The Indian Premier League (IPL), India’s most popular sporting event, has a new title sponsor, replacing Chinese phone maker Vivo. For this year and next, the Tata Group will be the IPL’s headline sponsor, paying the BCCI Rs 670 crore for the sponsorship rights.
The transaction might be considered a lifesaver for the IPL. Following hostilities between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh’s Galway Valley in 2020, the BCCI was chastised for having a Chinese corporation as title sponsor.
As a result, Vivo has backed out of its sponsorship deal for the 2020 season, allowing Dream11, an Indian company, to take its place. Despite the fact that Vivo was re-signed as title sponsor for the 2021 season, there were reports that the Chinese company planned to end the deal and transfer its sponsorship rights.
“This is a momentous occasion for the BCCI IPL,” said BCCI secretary Jay Shah, “since the Tata Group is the epitome of global Indian enterprise, with operations in more than 100 countries across six continents.”
Vivo will pay the BCCI over Rs 454 crore for terminating its contract. The sponsorship deal comes as Tata prepares to unveil TataNeu, its “giant app.”
All of Tata’s consumer-facing companies, including online groceries (BigBasket), online pharmacy (1Mg), eCommerce (TataCLiQ), consumer electronics (Croma), fashion retail (Westside), and more, would be unified under the app.
Users would presumably be able to book hotel rooms and Air India airline tickets through the app, which is owned by Tata. A digital online bill payment option will also be available. The software is currently being evaluated by Tata Group employees, and it is expected to be delivered in March of this year, just in time for the start of the IPL 2022 season in April.
The T20 cricket league is easily the most appealing sports property for advertising and sponsors, with 400 billion total viewing minutes for IPL 2020 and 10 billion for the opening match of IPL 2021.
It’s also had a lot of success in terms of generating brand memory for advertisers.
During the tournament, IPL 2020 title sponsor Dream11 reached 100 million users, with a 44.4 percent increase in traffic during the final match compared to 2019.
MPL (the sponsor of IPL teams KKR and RCB) started with 40 million subscribers in 2020 and ended with 70 million in 2019. Even businesses unrelated to sports, such as menstrual hygiene firm Niine (the primary sponsor of the Rajasthan Royals), saw their monthly sales rise from Rs 14 crore to Rs 20 crore after IPL 2020.
As exchanges like CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber became IPL 2021 sponsors, there was a boom in cryptocurrency usage in India.
“What we’ve noticed is that with the start of the IPL, personal and communal perceptions have improved across brands.” According to Sanchita Roy, Head – Strategy, Havas Media Group India, “personal factors like value for money and convenience, as well as collective views of trust and respect, showed the most increase across brands.”
As Tata prepares to take on eCommerce behemoths Amazon and Reliance, a tie-up with a high-profile broadcast property like the IPL will provide the company with the much-needed push for the launch of its super app.