• Rishu Pandey

IPL and Digital Marketing

Indian Premier League (IPL), has always been the most glamorous sight in India to behold, with supreme celebrity appearances, exemplary cricketers from around the world, alluring cheerleaders, and the omnipresent cricket fever in India and across the globe. This year, 2020, is no different, except for a few things. United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hosting the 13th season of IPL, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in India. There is no spectator attendance in the stadiums, in order to avoid the mushroom effect of this pandemic. Well, the colossal change this year is that this illustrious league will now be cited as DREAM 11 IPL, and not VIVO IPL, due to the ongoing Indo-China Tussle. Now we know that 2020 definitely has something to look forward to.

According to a digital report by ET, digital ad spends during the IPL have increased by 35%. The ubiquitous IPL season has coincided with the festive season in India, and marketers are ready with their festive budgets with the hope that consumption will soar high.

As a consumer of this exceptional cricket league, audiences are wowed and are literally stuck to their mobile phones and television screens the whole wide day, discussing the form of players and their excitement levels and what not! But as a digital marketer or an entrepreneur who wants to go DIGITAL with their business, this season of IPL has a host of learnings and wisdom for us. Brands from every sector, be it mobile gaming or online education, digital wallet or OTT, all are spending lion’s share in digital ads.

But why has everything become so digital?

It is because DREAM 11 IPL has set off DIGITAL! Right from streaming the matches on Disney + HotStar VIP to the social media campaigns being run on various sites, “Virtual Wankhede” for cricket fans to the virtual match tosses and also pre-recorded cheers of fans in the stadium, a great deal of virtual surprises are yet to unfold. Marketers have turned the lemons thrown at them by COVID-19 into a Lemon & Lime mocktail. Identifying market gaps and turning them into opportunities is what will make a brand flourish in the coming times, and as they say Digital is not the FUTURE, it is the PRESENT.

As a marketer, it becomes a responsibility to oversee whether the digital ad spends have been an investment or a liability, and not just be blown away by the pros of this revolution. As per Duff & Phelps, the IPL Ecosystem value in the year 2019 stood at US$ 6.8 Billion. This year, a BARC-Nielsen report suggests that the opening week of Dream 11 IPL saw a 15% growth in viewing minutes as compared to the last edition, with 269 Million viewers spread across 86 Million households. This clearly reflects on the success of brands’ digital promotions and their objective of boosting customer awareness and demand.

Those who are constantly tracking developments are of the opinion that India has yet not reached its peak season of Diwali and Dussehra and the revenue numbers will see elevation during that time. Also, as a digital marketer, one can leverage IPL with smart planning. Digital promises you a world of reduced rates and higher user engagements to target your audience, only if planning and execution are done strategically.

How have you leveraged DREAM 11 IPL? Have you leveraged DREAM 11 IPL?!

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