MSM to rake in Rs 1000 crore from IPL ads as e-commerce players join party

09 Apr,2015

By Ravi Teja Sharma & Ratna Bhushan


If all goes according to script, Multi Screen Media, the official broadcaster of the Indian Premier League, is poised to make about Rs 1,000 crore from on-air sponsors and spot advertising this year, riding an ecommerce wave, say media planners and industry watchers. About 25% of the revenue will come from e-commerce companies, said Rohit Gupta, president of MSM, though he did not confirm the total amount that the broadcaster is likely to make.


Spending by online retailers made up for 10-12% of MSM’s revenue of Rs 800 crore during last year’s IPL. Flush with cash raised at mind boggling valuations, e-commerce companies that will be seen on air this time include Amazon, Paytm, Magicbricks and CarDekho as sponsors while CarTrade, Snapdeal and Freecharge have taken television spots during matches.


MSM has signed up 12 sponsors including Vodafone, Hero MotoCorp, Intex Mobiles, PepsiCo and Vimal Pan Masala, selling close to 95% of its inventory before the eighth edition of the tournament started on Wednesday. These sponsors have taken over 50% of the inventory while the rest has been sold as spots to other advertisers.


“In the last couple of years, a lot of e-commerce companies have raised funds. Their target is quick consumer acquisition for which they are trying to use cricket as a platform to get quicker reach,” said Nandini Dias, chief executive officer at media agency Lodestar UM. IPL’s viewership has grown from about 160 million in the fourth edition in 2011 to 191 million last year.


“There is no better platform than IPL to reach out to the Indian masses,” said Manisha Rana, head of marketing at property portal, which will launch the second phase of its new campaign that started in February. The new campaign is set around IPL matches and this time is in a shorter 15-second avatar.


Media planners say e-commerce companies have almost doubled their spending this year. Amazon is one of the presenting sponsors this year after having been an associate sponsor last year. It gets 210 seconds of advertising time per match compared with an associate sponsor’s 100 to 120 seconds. “Amazon would have doubled their outlay as well as inventory this year,” said a media planner, not wanting to be identified.


In a recent report, media investment company GroupM said that it expects e-commerce to lead advertising spends in 2015, though it currently has a much smaller base than other categories. A report by Assocham and Deloitte says e-commerce will cross $16 billion worth of business by the end of 2015.


LK Gupta, chief marketing officer at Girnar Soft, the owner of, said the momentum has been building up for the ecommerce sector for the past three to four years as it gets ready to explode into a mass category. “There is a watershed period when a category has to achieve scale. For e-commerce, that comes from Internet connectivity, mobile phone adoption, openness of the mass public to buy and search stuff online. That tipping point was crossed last year,” he said. “Cricket is a huge property to go behind because it gives you national scale in one go.”


The Ratan Tata-funded company CarDekho will launch the second phase of its “Mr I Know” campaign during the IPL.


Shankar Nath, senior vice president at Alibaba-backed Paytm, said the company plans to step up brand recall and salience for Paytm through cricket. The company is investing in IPL as an associate sponsor with the official broadcaster, for which it has planned a new campaign, and also is in a tie-up with Mumbai Indians as official partner.


Gupta of MSM said youth, which is the big category and a target group for e-commerce companies, come in big numbers around the IPL. Apart from finding space on television, several e-commerce companies have tied up with IPL teams. Food ordering app TinyOwl has signed up with Mumbai Indians as its official food ordering app. Harshvardhan Mandad, CEO of TinyOwl, said the company will launch its first big marketing campaign through the IPL.


Mobile taxi-hailing app developer Uber has tied up with Kolkata Knight Riders as the official local transport partner, Foodpanda is the shirt and kit sponsor with Sun Risers Hyderabad while Shopclues is the e-commerce partner of MS Dhoni-captained Chennai Super Kings.


Source:The Economic Times

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