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Business – Advertisers prefer IPL over team India

NEW DELHI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s most ambitious league – the T20 IPL – seems to have turned into its biggest nemesis.
Indian advertisers and their media buying partners are openly stating that they prefer to invest big bucks in the IPL over the Indian team sponsorship because they feel it gives them ‘better returns’.

This, even as it is learnt that BCCI VP Lalit Modi (and also the T20 league’s chairman and commissioner) is directly in touch with Sahara’s Subroto Roy to persuade him to continue Sahara’s sponsorship deal. Sahara’s existing sponsorship with the BCCI ends on December 31, ’09. “BCCI is talking to Sahara to extend its contract by three months,” an official said.

The cricket board is learnt to have refused to bring down the base price for sponsorship bids, with the deadlock between BCCI and sponsors continuing over team sponsorship valuations. When contacted by ET, BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said: “No final decision has been arrived at yet. Our future course of action is yet to be decided.”

Electric switches company Havells India VP – marketing Vijay Narayanan said: “Sponsoring an IPL team gives the advertiser faster returns in a short time span. In comparison, a sponsor cannot block such a large amount of money for any advertising opportunity. In today’s business scenario, one needs to be flexible and make decisions on monthly basis for advertising.”

Havells India had invested heavily on the IPL’s second season and had signed a bulk deal with Sony to invest on SET Max. The company is also in talks with Sony for similar deal for the third season.

Consumer durable maker LG Electronics has signed on as associate sponsor for IPL’s third season. Associate sponsors are learnt to be spending Rs 35-45 crore on buying ad spots in bulk. LG Electronics’ chief marketing officer LK Gupta said, “There are many more avenues in cricket as of now for sponsors to advertise and associate themselves with.

There are cricket properties like IPL and other bilateral tournaments for advertisers to associate with and this is perhaps the reason that the avenue of team sponsorship is not generating so much interest among brands.”

Said Percept Holdings joint MD Shailendra Singh: “The BCCI tender came very close to IPL’s upcoming season, and it is a more attractive proposition for sponsors. Return on investments is key for advertisers now.”

Names such as Reliance, Idea and Bharti Airtel are also doing the rounds for picking up team sponsorship, but the steep charges demanded by the board have deterred the advertisers. BCCI had floated the tenders for the cricket team’s jersey logo on November 2 and till November 24 which was the last day, not a single bid had been received. The board had to call off its marketing committee’s meeting scheduled for November 25 where the bids were supposed to be opened.

BCCI has demanded Rs 3 crore for each Test, ODI and T20 match, and was hoping to raise Rs 550-600 crore from the deal. Sahara has paid around Rs 400 crore over the past four years for the team’s jersey logo. The BCCI had floated tenders last month inviting sponsors for four national teams, including the men’s squad, women’s, ‘A’ and under-19 squads, for a new four-year deal.

Its sponsorship deal with Sahara for the men’s team ends this calendar year. The BCCI had announced in the tender notice that the bid forms would cost Rs 5 lakh each and the amount would be non-refundable.

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November 26, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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