Brands investing heavily as international cricket comes to India with Ind-Eng series
The first Test between India and England was a disappointing affair for Indian cricket fans as England won by a resounding 227 runs. But cricket fever is only heating up as India and England are going to play 3 more Test matches, 5 T-20 matches and 3 One Day Internationals. Both India and England are highly motivated and pumped up after their respective wins recently.
Investing in cricket has always been a safe bet with brands as cricket cuts across all audiences across the country. England’s tour of India is the first international match to be played on home soil after the pandemic struck globally. Indian Premier League 2020, played in the UAE, saw tremendous response from advertisers and audiences alike on both Television and Mobile and kickstarted a revival of sports broadcasting even as spectators were not allowed in the stadiums. This continued with India’s tour of Australia, where the country’s performance brought a cheer to Indian fans. The rise in viewership and sponsorship was the cherry on the cake.
It is not surprising that 18 sponsors have come on board for the India-England series, which include – Dream11, Byju’s, Ceat, Maruti Suzuki, Kamla Pasand, Orient, Amazon, Mondelez, Pepsi, Ultratech, Policy Bazaar, Exxon Mobil, Zomato, Havells, Paisabazaar, LIC and Lenskart.
Anil Jayaraj, Executive Vice President, Star Sports, the official broadcaster, said, “There is high interest in the series post the remarkable Australia win and the fact that the test will also decide India’s participation in the World Test Championship makes us confident of achieving record viewership. The series also marks the return of international cricket after a long gap, this has built great anticipation amongst the fans as well as advertisers. The two-month-long series will prove beneficial for brands, especially the day-night test, which will be an exceptionalopportunity for advertisers to leverage as the matches will be broadcast during prime time.”
Elaborating on why cricket continues to be a safe bet for brands, Sharat Dhall, COO, Policybazaar.com, pointed out, “The Indian audience consumes cricket content very well. Cricket is back in India after so long and very few properties on TV deliver the kind of reach cricket does. Cricket provides the best opportunity to be in customers’ eye and we decided to not let the opportunity go.”
Adding further, he remarked that cricket attracts a lot of eyeballs for a brand. “We have had a consistent presence during the cricket tournaments over the past so many years and we plan to continue bullish on it for a long term. The way cricket is a core entertainment source for the Indian audience, it is a strong bet for our media investments also.”
As a sponsor of the series, Dhall said that Policybazaar will be there throughout the England Tour – both Test and T20 series. “Since the very beginning of this fiscal year, we are spending quite aggressively and have been on TV for 3 out of 4 weeks. As per the Madison advertising report 2020, we have been in the Top 50 spenders list and we should be amongst the top spenders in the England cricket tour too. We have spent around Rs 30-35 crore each month, out of which 60% goes to TV and the India vs England series will get a majority of share this time around,” he added.
Keeping in mind the growing popularity of sports in India, more and more brands are associated with sports. Today, brands are exploring other sports like Pro-Kabaddi, which has gained tremendous popularity, and Policybazaar has been associated with that sport in the past.