During the first five matches of the T20 league, ad categories declined by 29% from 58 to 41, brands by 15% from 114 to 97, and advertisers by 13% over IPL 2021, the report said.
“It surprises me because, typically, whoever wants to come would definitely come in the first five-six matches because the reach is higher, and rating is also high, and it just kind of drops in between. However, there could be a couple of reasons for it,” said Vaishali Verma, chief executive, Initiative India, an IPG Mediabrands agency.
One, for this season, 10 teams, including two new franchises, are participating, and the number of matches has gone up from 60 to 74. “Besides, the prices are also higher this year, and all brands or advertisers would not buy spots for all matches. Many would have considered customized packages for matches they want to be on as it is an expensive proposition,” Verma said.
Online gaming companies had the largest presence, with the share of advertisements increasing from 12% in 2021 to 17% this year. However, pan masala brands pipped the smartphones category to the second spot. E-commerce, edtech and wallets were among the top five advertisers in the first five matches.
The data is based on live matches and evaluates commercial advertising on TV, and the percentage share is based on ad volumes, TAM Sports said.
“As long as the entire inventory is sold, it does not really matter whether four or five brands are less in the property,” said Jigar Rambhia, national director, sports and entertainment partnerships, at media agency Wavemaker, adding every year, depending on their marketing objectives, brands will come and go. “There are also brands who choose to advertise only for select matches, at the same time there are brands who advertise throughout the tournament. For instance, if a brand wants to be seen only in 60 matches but not all 74, they have an option to select accordingly.”
Verma said the IPL broadcaster often overbooks inventory, but this year spot prices have seen a 10-11% increase. “The moment you go for a hike, you’re already meeting your value targets because you have 74 matches overall. So you may not sell in excess,” she said, adding this will be a moving piece and one needs to see if this trend continues.
According to TAM, the top five advertisers contributed a-fifth of ad volumes during the five matches. Sporta Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs Dream11, and was led the IPL 2021 table, is followed by KP Pan Foods, which owns the Kamla Pasand brand, Bundl Technologies, which runs Swiggy, Tata Digital and Gameskraft Technologies, the parent of RummyCulture.com.
“Interestingly, the data is actually a confirmation of what we already knew: IPL is no longer meant for established ‘legacy’ brands. There is no HUL, P&G, Maruti or Hero… brands that have traditionally dominated TV find no mention in the data for the first five matches,” Sandeep Goyal, managing director, Rediffusion, said. “IPL is becoming more and more a game of digital smarties. It has become a playground for soonicorns and unicorns wanting to build instant recognition and recall. For them, the huge audiences at IPL are an instant springboard to consumer familiarity. What is surprising is that even mobile phone brands have been relegated outside the top five,” he added.
While the number of brands might be fewer, in terms of topline, this could probably be the best year for the league and for teams, said Divyanshu Singh, head of sales and marketing, JSW Sports, which owns Delhi Capitals.
Shuchi Bansal contributed to the story
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