Brand IPL needs to play innings of its life: MSL Group report

04 Apr,2012

By A Correspondent


MSL Group’s executive report on the Indian Premier League, its ups and downs and the viability of continuing, concludes that if Brand IPL has to remain a smash hit, it must work its strategy carefully.


When it began, the league made a splash and wowed India with the razzle-dazzle of intensively commercial cricket. Then came the slide downwards with slackening viewer interest leading to falling ratings, followed by the scandal that surrounded allegations of favouritism and money-laundering.


“There’s no denying that Brand IPL is on choppy waters. It will have to steer clear of fresh controversies, reflect on mistakes and rectify the damage as much as it can. Most importantly, it needs to win back the confidence of stakeholders. As Season 5 unfolds from April 4, 2012, the BCCI will need a stronger game plan to rejuvenate the brand,” says the report.


Quoting media sources including reports from MxMIndia, the MSL report mentions instances of prominent sponsors pulling out, questionable ownership patterns, and the big one – runaway costs. “Keeping the wage bill in check and managing revenues will mean the difference between survival and falling by the wayside,” says the report.


Brand IPL has other problems too, such as controversies galore, falling TRPs, and overly high ad rates. Yet, the report concludes, “There must be something right with a sports property that, despite a fall in valuation, is worth more than $3.5 billion. By its second year, the IPL was thought to be the fifth largest sports brand, just smaller than FIFA and bigger than Wimbledon and F1.”


An integrated communications approach, the sheer advertising benefit of being on the IPL bandwagon, the fact that sports sponsorships do work well, and the Indian cricket fan’s conveniently short memory are opportunities in the IPL’s favour, the report remarks.


In fact, while other sports such as hockey and wrestling are trying to emulate cricket’s league success, the fact is that India has been loyal to cricket for far too long, and grabbing those eyeballs will be a “massive challenge”.


The full report can be read here:


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