According to GroupM ESP, the entertainment and sports partnerships unit of media-buying house GroupM, the sports industry has come of age in addressing sponsorship sales and integrating technology to drive audience engagement and advertising deals. “From selling tickets to selling an experience, Indian Premier League has come a long way,” said Vinit Karnik, national director, GroupM ESP.
In 2015, while teams will continue to beef up the in-stadium experience, there is an additional focus on technology integration. “It makes sense because if fans aren’t in the stadium, they’re watching it somewhere else — at work or home or in a cafe. And we also see a lot of new generation brands jump onto the IPL bandwagon,” he added.
Here are the top 10 trends of IPL season 8, says GroupM ESP:
1) E-commerce brands will dominate ad spends on broadcast platform. Top e-commerce companies including Amazon, Quikr, Flipkart, Paytm, Go-Daddy and Car Dekho have have signed up for IPL 8
2) Realistic sponsorship pricing strategies resulting in repeat purchases and a stable sponsor ecosystem Brands including USPA, Flying Machine, Ed Hardy, Ultratech, Videocon D2H, Sansui, Aircel, Etihad, HDIL, Tata Prima, HTC, Huawei and Idea Cellular have renewed contracts
3) Increased dependence on crowdsourcing to create excitement around brands. Pepsi’s main summer campaign that will break during IPL 8 is crowdsourced and made by consumers
4) Apparel is an emerging and popular sponsor category among franchises. Top brands like USPA, Flying Machine, Ed Hardy, Jack & Jones have committed to spending with various IPL teams
5) IPL Fan Park idea to heighten interest and involvement in smaller cities and towns. IPL has launched Fan Parks – to create a stadiumlike experience by showing matches on giant screens – in 14-15 cities
6) Enhanced broadcast production quality with regional language feeds. Sony Max is expected to broadcast the match in at least fi ve regional languages including Tamil, Telugu and Bengali
7) Digital platforms to create sustained and deep engagement with real-time analytics. All sports apps including those owned by Multi Screen Media, the cricket board and IPL teams are going to be active on Facebook and Twitter and other platforms to grab fan attention. This will also help with interactive data analysis
8) Technology to enhance spectator interactions and engagement inside stadium. Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders are planning Wi-Fi inside stadiums
9) Surround content to drive social conversations. The cricket board and all IPL teams have planned to release behind-the-scene content and is planning contest around IPL 8
10) Smart talent acquisition by franchises has increased competitiveness with teams evenly matched. Post the auction in February, all IPL teams look equally competitive in season 8.