The Board of Control for Cricket in India has set the ball rolling for the Indian Premier League 2019 with the announcement of the “tentative” schedule for the first two weeks – 17 matches. The league now is confirmed to start on March 23 as announced earlier.
With precisely 30 days to go, franchisees too have pressed the accelerator for closing sponsorship deals. Everything else from operations to logistics can be bought for money. To get that money is the daunting task. With the clock ticking fast, four franchisees are out in the market to sell their title sponsorships – the major source of revenue after the central pool share from the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
It is a 50-50 metrics between the eight teams. While four franchisees are sitting pretty with the front jersey sponsors on board, other four are hunting for the key partners. Mumbai Indians, SunRisers Hyderabad, Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab all have their premium sponsorship properties up for sale.
SunRisers Hyderabad, the SunTV Group-owned IPL franchisee, had failed to get the title sponsors even last year when the team eventually had to support the logo Red FM 93.5 Radio, one of the media group’s properties. The SRH are yet again in the market for that elusive sponsorship support.
Samsung have ended their association with the Mumbai Indians while Eros Now is off the Royal Challengers Bangalore jersey just after a one-year association. Among the four franchisees looking for team titles, Kings XI Punjab sales team it is learnt is engaged in negotiations with at least three brands.
A majority of these four teams have an ex-factor to attract brands, but efforts to get the best deals and hard bargains result in late closures.
“Team jersey is the most innovative way of entering the IPL arena at low cost and high impact options,” says Alliance Advertising and Marketing Director and co-founder Arshad Nizam Shawl, who is the largest player in the country in the sphere of jersey branding marketing.
“Team sponsorships with IPL give brands a leverage to involve B2B and have trade partners activation while also connecting with a huge fans base both on ground and in social media,” adds Shawl, one of the leading media buyers in cricket.
The other four franchisees – Chennai Super Kings (Muthoot Finance), Kolkata Knight Riders (Nokia), Rajasthan Royals (JK Lakshmi Cement) and Delhi Capitals (Daikin) – continue with the existing brand association on the front of their team jerseys. Nokia last season had inked a two-year deal with the KKR on their reunion.