The mutually beneficial relationship between digital marketing and the Indian Premier League (IPL) has thrived from the very start, and with the rise in hyper-digitalisation, the industry has only benefited more. Advertising and promotion on social media sites or via a partnership with cricketers have also given much-needed public exposure to several brands and their products & services. Let us look at how it has been working out so far.
Social Media Engagement
Brands employ numerous digital marketing strategies via television, social media platforms, and other channels of communication to place products throughout the IPL season. Social media engagement works differently for each of the cricket teams wherein they have their own campaigns for multiple interaction points with their audience via Twitter, IG, etc.
Further, brands from many sectors look forward to the IPL season to expand their market, visibility and reach via teams & players. According to the blogging network, 51% of people use Twitter to read tweets on events & news stories, 25% aim to collaborate with Tweets during the game, and 21% plan to engage afterwards. In fact, around 25% of people actually follow their favourite players on social media.
Live Broadcasting Rights
With a boom in the live streaming and broadcasting space, many brands are providing front row seats to their audience to ensure that their viewership enjoys the comfort, accessibility, and convenience. IPL is crucial for broadcasters who wish to improve their OTT presence. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to sell OTT streaming and TV rights separately in order to maximise revenue.
Sources say that many broadcasters may battle for a piece of the IPL pie in 2022, wherein the motivation is to broaden the reach and also increase revenue. Amazon and Reliance Businesses are anticipated to compete with Disney and Sony for television and internet broadcast rights for the two-month series and at a whopping cost of ₹50,000 crores.
Sales Hike for Food and Beverages
People are driven by emotional investment, which is why the stronger the link to cricket, the more motive there is to favour and purchase a brand that is being endorsed. Several restaurants and bars come up with lucrative IPL deals with live screening and special menus via social media platforms, thereby creating an F&B hotspot for their customers.
Also, brands partnering with teams and players open up several F&B kiosks within the stadiums, which help in boosting brand visibility and sales and also create a brand association with the game. Stadiums too partner with F&B brands to create a wow factor and provide an engaging experience to their consumers holistically, wherein they can indulge and socialise with their peers while enjoying the game.
Influencer Marketing Campaigns
With IPL becoming the buzzword, many brands use influencer marketing strategies and campaigns to reach out to their audience by creating an emotional connect with the game. In 2020, 16.2K+ out of 622K+ posts were influencer marketing based. Businesses take advantage of the IPL season by collaborating with prominent influencers to create a buzz about their new products.
During IPL 2020, 146.6 million+ influencer posts were shared on Instagram and Twitter. Brands employ conversational methods wherein the audience can chat with influencers and engage in a quirky manner. Additionally, regional influencer marketing is done to reign in the sports spirit with the help of different teams, which enables brands to engage with newer audiences across the country.
Endorsements and Sponsorships
Many brands encash endorsements and sponsorships opportunities during IPL to help boost revenue and sales for their business. One of the most significant benefits of such sponsorship deals is that businesses frequently gain access to players for brand endorsements which significantly helps in increasing product sales.
Stadium branding, shirt branding, merchandise branding, and other sponsorship options are available wherein businesses increase their traction via heavy digital marketing and advertising to regional fan bases. Radio advertising is used for match & score updates and #omgmoments via commentary from renowned radio jockeys. This kind of sponsorship further includes PR, social media, news ads, etc., for brands.
Brands can use digital marketing to earn the best return on investment during the IPL season. All collaborations that seek to thrive, however, must always be a two-way highway. If and when done correctly, digital marketing has the ability to influence the destiny of any company, and they must take utmost advantage of the tools available!