From selling tickets to selling an experience, Indian Premier League (IPL) has come a long way. IPL has evolved into a pure form of entertainment from being a mere game of cricket. It is that time of the year again when companies who sell beverages, crisps and popcorn make huge profits when almost all our sick leaves get exhausted and when TV sets in all houses are the centre of attention for hours. And it is not surprising that the brand biggies associated with the exuberant game of cricket have ushered the tournament as “India Ka Tyohaar” or India’s festival!

Branding, revenue and entertainment are the three prime servings of the Indian Premier League

Branding, revenue and entertainment are the three prime servings of the Indian Premier League. The craze and popularity of cricket makes IPL the most generous platform for advertising and branding. Here are some tricks and trends that IPL has up its sleeve to keep the Indian viewers glued to their seats in front of smart TVs.

• The IPL fans have received rights for constructing and brandishing identities. This is yet another way to keep the craze of the fan for the respective teams brimming.
The team encourages the fans to display images followed by team hashtags to be a part of the frenzied following.

• In 2015, while teams will continue to beef up the in-stadium experience, there is an additional focus on technology integration.

• IPL is stirring up the marketing knacks to put up a show that

actually involves customer wants and desires.

• E-commerce brands have dominated ad spends on broadcast platform. Top e-commerce companies including Amazon, Quikr, Flipkart, Paytm, Go-Daddy and Car Dekho have signed up for IPL 8.

• 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.

• There is increased dependence on crowd sourcing to create excitement around brands Pepsi’s main summer campaign that has hit the screens during IPL 8 is crowd sourced and made by consumers.

• Apparel is an emerging and popular sponsor category among franchises. Top brands like USPA, Flying Machine, Ed Hardy, Jack & Jones are spending after various IPL teams.

• The IPL Fan Park idea is to heighten interest and involvement in smaller cities and towns. IPL has launched Fan Parks – to create a stadium like experience by showing matches on giant screens – in 14 to 15 cities.

• Enhanced broadcast production quality with regional language feeds: Sony Max is broadcasting the match in at least five regional languages including Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.

From the fi elds to the jerseys, everything acts as a showcase for the sponsored brands

• Digital platforms are creating 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.

• Surround content to drive social conversations: The cricket board and all IPL teams are releasing behindthe- scene content and are running multiple contests around IPL 8 on social media and other platforms. For blind followers of the game in India, IPL is actually nothing less than a festival. There are fun, fireworks, famous Bollywood celebs and their favorite players on the field. Nothing could match the cheerfulness of the fiesta. The organisers make sure that they provide entertainment portraying the show as more of a non-cricketing event. According to the recent reports available to the media, the cricket tournament is estimated to rake in revenues of approximately INR 950 crore this year. From the cricket fields to the cricketers’ shirts, everything carries the colour of branding and acts as a showcase for the sponsored brands.