Digital payments platform PhonePe will partner four teams of the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year, adopting a high-visibility strategy followed by others such as Jio, Balakrishna Industries Ltd (BKT), boAt headphones, Dream11 and Colgate.

Phone Pe on Thursday said that it is backing Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Delhi Capitals.

It is easy to see why brands are associating with multiple IPL teams. “It is a win-win situation for all stakeholders. Brands get to target consumers across the country as against a particular region. It allows them to stay engaged with fans through the tournament in one capacity or another. It is also a way of mitigating risks by partnering with multiple franchises and have more content available to build promotions. Such deals also allow more engagement and conversations,” said Nikhil Bardia, head of sponsorship sales at RISE Worldwide, the sports and lifestyle vertical of Reliance Industries Ltd.

Brand experts recall that Kingfisher was perhaps the first brand to sponsor multiple IPL teams many years ago.

Sports marketing executives note that such deals can range from one to three years and allow brand placement on kits, helmets and, in some cases, jerseys. Most brands tend to leverage team insignia and trademarks to create digital content and promotions which garner significant traction during the tournament. More brands are expected to sign such deals backing multiple teams that help them leverage a team’s trademark and player images to create co-branded campaigns and promotions online.

It also helps that these deals don’t cost a bomb for the brands. Unlike a title sponsorship, which costs 14-15 crore a year, industry executives said these deals can range from 50 lakh to 5 crore, making it an easier investment option.

Satish Menon, chief executive, Kings XI Punjab said such deals offer good return on investment given the outlay is low. “It also allows new brands to come into IPL fold by using player’s images and trademarks for co-branded campaigns and deals. I believe such deals will also eventually bump up overall jersey pricing and sponsorship size,” he added.

“Cricket viewers in India, as much passionate they are about their home or favourite teams, are equally invested in cricketing heroes across teams as well as emerging stars of tomorrow. Partnering with some of the IPL franchises offers us an avenue to forge a stronger association and become more relevant for these audiences due to a local connect,” said a PhonePe spokesperson.

The firm said it will be creating bespoke content for digital and social platforms with some of the players from each franchise to further the larger campaign theme and messages.

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