Five days to return of IPL mega-carnival

29 Mar,2012


By Tuhina Anand


The annual IPL event is no less than a carnival or a circus and the TVC featuring the two kids with the Eena Meena Deeka song playing in the background aptly sums it. As the countdown begins for the circus to visit our cities or beam in to our TV sets, we take a look at the various marketing activities planned around the IPL.


Once touted as the biggest property for marketers, the game lost some sheen because of the negative coverage it got in its last avatar. Fully aware of the situation, those involved with the IPL have now gone all out to woo audience and it’s no surprise that lately, especially in the last two weeks, one has seen and heard a lot about IPL on various medium.


Eena Meena Deeka- Carnival- Ye IPL Hai Boss
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Rohit Gupta, President, Multi Screen Media (MSM), the official broadcaster of DLF IPL, talking about the inventory sold on MAX said: “We are in the process of closing deals and it’s been a regular sellout process. The start was a bit slow, but once our marketing campaign kicked off we have managed to rope in most of the key brands. In fact, we have not dropped our rate which is Rs5.5 lakh for a 10-second spot.”


Mr Gupta, in fact, is confident that the rates will go up once the game begins and more audience comes in to watch the matches.


Talking about the campaign, Gaurav Seth, Senior VP, Marketing and Communications, MAX, said: “We have reached the end phase of a very long campaign that was kickstarted on February 23 with Aisa Mauka Aur Kaha Milega and April 4 will see the culmination of all the activities we had undertaken as the IPL begins. As for sustenance, we will take a call on the basis of the viewership and address the issue accordingly.”


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Some of the activities that MAX has undertaken include a partnership with Radio Mirchi for 40 stations across India which will include radio spots, RJ mentions, and IPL contests. For OOH, they have taken over 700 units across 70 towns including billboards, bus shelters and various other innovative OOH panels. The print engagement includes both English and vernacular newspapers. They are also engaging the audience through mobile and FB along with BTL activation. It is learnt that the budget earmarked for IPL 5 is almost Rs30 crore.


Mr Seth said: “We are reaching out to our audience with one million printed schedules which will be distributed through multiple outlets. We have planned flash mobs across 10 IPL towns. The mobs will give info on IPL by disruption and the sequences will be uploaded on YouTube which we hope will go the viral route.”


“This is the 5th year of IPL so people know what it is. The challenge is to create something that is innovative and appeals to the consumers. Aisa Mauka is perfect as it talks about IPL being an opportunity to bond with family and friends. It invites people to enjoy the IPL experience,” he added, on marketing IPL which has definitely been a mega exercise.


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Extraaa Innings T20 2012 on MAX has also come out with a special video featuring its presenters on the theme of Aisa Mauka Aur Kaha Milega.


Here’s a look at some of the marketing initiatives taken by various IPL teams:


Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians has taken the digital route to connect with its close to 2.5 million fans. The unique marketing campaign by O&M is being digitally driven on Facebook’s MI fan page ‘MIPaltan’. The campaign ‘Players become Friends’ is aimed at increasing the interactivity quotient between the players and the fans in the digital space. The fans can get to be friends with Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel and other team players and know about their real lives, practice sessions and much more.


MI has also unveiled its new website, which offers a fresh view for the fans to know more about the team. The new website presents dynamic online tools, easy navigation and is rich in its contents. The fresh look and feel of the website, designed in keeping with international standards, echoes the value which best epitomizes the team – ‘Play Like One’.


Mumbai Indians has recently signed a brand alliance with Walt Disney India, which marks the first time Mickey Mouse will be associated with cricket. The Mumbai Indians Disney merchandise is available for sale in India.


Delhi Daredevils

Delhi Daredevils, in its bid to engage its fans, signed four remarkable flagbearers of daredevilry as Delhi Daredevils Superfans. These include India’s only IronMan athlete, Anuradha Vaidyanathan; the youngest Indian climber to summit three peaks beyond 8000m, including Mount Everest, Arjun Vajpai; India’s only ultramarathon runner Arun Bhardwaj and the only Indian woman to ski her way to South Pole, Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu.


It also launched the team’s Hindi website, making it the first IPL franchise to create an online destination for cricket fans who would like to follow the game in the language. The English website too had been redesigned. Also on anvil is the launch of mobile version of the website. Smartphone users can download a mobile App to get scores and updates. DD also launched its new official song titled ‘Munday Dilli Ke’ to herald the coming season of DLF Indian Premier League.


Chennai Super Kings

CSK took its ‘Whistle podu’ further by launching a brand new participative cheer video. Titled ‘Chennai Super Kings ku Raise Your Hands’ this video too is a tribute to the unwavering fan support that the team enjoys. The one-minute video captures a fan formation that gathers momentum, with supporters joining in to form a Mexican wave cheering their favourite team. The video was uploaded on YouTube late evening on March 25, and in less than 12 hours it had already generated over 10,000 views.


In another unique initiative, Washington Apple have partnered with CSK as ‘Official Fruit’ for the upcoming IPL season. South India is India’s largest market for Washington Apples and Chennai, in particular, is the key port of entry and distribution hub and also a key market for the company, hence the association.


Kolkata Knight Riders

Venky Mysore, MD & CEO of KKR on the marketing initiatives said: “KKR recently unveiled its new marketing campaign, ‘New Dawn, New Knights’. The campaign is about the new team that we have formed and its new attitude and intensity. It signifies the new winning spirit that has been brought in by our new players and the new coach. All of these go a long way in ensuring a new beginning.”


He also said that their digital community exceeds 700,000 and before the start of the latest season of IPL, they are confident of reaching a million. The marketing would be mostly done through merchandising on the digital platform as well as through ticketing. “Contrary to public perception, we don’t go out and buy media, because we don’t need to. We have a brand that we constantly work on. Part of how we do that is to ensure the team is doing well, and we also try to be a part of mutually beneficial associations that can be leveraged. Hence, we develop marketing programmes that allow brands associated with us to activate themselves. For instance, we created a lot of content with our sponsors on digital and electronic media last year which they utilized advantageously,” Mr Mysore said.


KKR is working to create new revenue streams like merchandising and licensing. Since various third party reports indicate that KKR is the most valuable brand franchise, they are looking at ways to strike licensing agreements to monetize on the same. As a result of multiple merchandising deals, they have made available a number of branded KKR merchandise like T-shirts, hats, head bands, fridge magnets, pens, ties and so on.


“The market segment that IPL attracts is very different from that of a Test and One Day format of the game. I think it depends on the product. If you look at toothpaste today, you have hundreds of brands, but it all depends on how you package it and how you market it. So the challenge for us is to keep working on the product, its packaging and delivery, and if we do a good job, then we would be successful as a franchise,” he added.


Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals has again tied up with Sanskar School for their annual inter-school Kanni Thahryamal Tournament to develop, nurture and motivate young talent at the grassroots level. Various Rajasthan Royals players, including Rahul Dravid, scouted for talent at the tournament and. RR also supported the Ambuja Jaipur Marathon 2012 as Official Fitness Partner.


They recently unveiled the pink-coloured training jersey dedicated to the city of Jaipur, the team’s home. On the digital front, the focus is on interactivity and their fan zone on the website encourages fans to express themselves through content, videos, images, forums or polls. Points are awarded based on interactivity on the website which can be redeemed for exclusive memorabilia and merchandise.


UltraTech Cement Limited is the team’s Principal Sponsor for IPL 5. The cement brand has been associated with the squad since 2008.


Kings XI Punjab

This IPL team hosts the Kings XI Punjab Cup, a tournament organized to provide a platform for young guns to showcase their talent. Through this annual tournament, KXIP aims to nurture talent at the grass root level by giving them an opportunity to display their talent.


Kings XI Punjab has initiated an activity with Institute of Fashion technology at Punjab University. As a part of the initiative, the aspirants were given an opportunity to design their favourite local team’s merchandise. The chosen designs have been used in the merchandising of Kings XI Punjab.


The team associated with Indraprastha All India Sports Foundation to launch the one-of-a-kind reality show ‘Cricket Champs’. This reality show is being powered by Kings XI Punjab and a number of players from the franchisee are also part of the proceedings. This pan-India initiative is featuring on UTV.


Deccan Chargers

Emirates International has come on board as the Team Sponsor for Deccan Chargers. DC also kick-started its Blue Campaign in Hyderabad with ‘its gotta be blue’ line celebrating food, music and cricket. Some Tollywood films have also associated with Deccan Chargers for promotional campaigns. DC is also taking the digital route to connect and interact with its fans in a better way.


Royal Challengers Bangalore

RCB launched its new website earlier this month, which is aimed at making navigation easier for its fans. The site has new collection of photos, videos and other downloads for its followers. Most of the initiatives are on the RCB site.


Pune Warriors

This IPL team has been focusing on interacting with its fans with its website. In keeping with the name, the site has sections like ‘Our Warriors’ which give information about the players, War news and Warrior Club Updates. The Bhartiya Nrityanganas or the cheer queens with the Indian flavour will be encouraging the team on field. The team has also associated with Bookmyshow for buying tickets for the games.


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