Analysis of promotional strategies of IPL

Indian Premier League (IPL) is created by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and is sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC). In IPL the best players from around the world will not play according to their nationality but as per the forces of market [BCCI, 2005].

Business model of IPL

The IPL exists under the system of franchise. The franchisees can own 8 teams in the brawl. The franchisees can also run the teams in their own style and make their own sponsors name the team according to their choices. They will be free to list their teams on the stock exchange. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has already signed up 100 International players and the players are expected to be put for buying and selling the stocks soon [Allison M, 1982].

The sports industry caters to a niche market segment, hence marketing strategies applied to it are entirely different from those applied to commercial products/ services. Sports as a product to market is the most difficult and challenging job. Since the IPL has completely changed the face of world cricket and actually got the business to be a part of Indian cricket, a detailed research about the effects of IPL on Indiana cricket and the audience will help uncover the risks attached to it, apart from highlighting its strengths. This will also help researchers with information and knowledge about the industry.

Promoting IPL

Some of IPL’s long-term and fruitful strategies are as follows:

Merchandise

Selling merchandise, as mentioned earlier, has been one of the biggest marketing strategies implemented by the IPL. The tournament tied up with companies like eBay India, HomeShop18, Twenty Four Seven for selling merchandise such as team jerseys, caps, shirts, key chains, tattoos, car flags, bottle chillers, wrist bands, etc. Brands like Reebok went a step further by offering discounts on the merchandise.

Online advertising

Online advertising is still an emerging phenomenon in India. One of IPL’s many marketing strategies included a strategic tie-up with Google for live streaming of IPL matches through You Tube, a multi-million dollar deal which worked in the benefit of both the parties. The main sponsors of this deal were HSBC, HP and Royal Challegers Team, with associate sponsors being Airtel, Coca-Cola and Samsung (Website, TMC Net).

Screening at cinema halls

IPL also tied up PVR Cinemas, the reigning cinema multiplex group in India, for live screening of IPL matches at theaters and other public places. The exclusive rights for this purpose were held by UFO Movies, and the deal was estimated at USD 10 million (Website, TMC Net)

We asked the viewers about IPL

For this study, we conducted a survey of 100 respondents and adopted the close-ended questionnaire approach. The sample size is deemed accurate as it eliminates the chances of bias in the data.

In this research, the target population is viewers of cricket in India. The respondents are familiar with the Indian Premier League. The data was collected from the respondents by approaching them in popular hang-outs in New Delhi such as malls, coffee shops and pubs.

Our findings

  • Promotion: In the survey, it was found that 64% of the respondents say that they remember watching the IPL advertisements/promotional campaign and 36% of the respondents say that they did not remember watching the IPL advertisements/promotional campaigns.
  • Advantage: 64% of the respondents say that the IPL take the advantage of the people’s passion for the World Cups in order to increase their awareness/ revenues and 36% of the respondents say that the IPL does not take the advantage of the people’s passion for the World Cups in order to increase their awareness/ revenues.
  • Glamour: In the survey 52% of the respondents say that they first remember the most attractive megastars and their glamour. 33% of the respondents say that they remember the wide variety of merchandise. About 8% of the respondents say that they remember the screening in theaters, malls and pubs and finally 7% of the respondents say that they remember only the online buzz.
  • Perception: 35% of the respondents say that the perception of IPL after watching the promotional campaigns is excellent. 24% of the respondents say that the perception of IPL after watching the promotional campaigns is very good. 21% of the respondents say that the perception of IPL after watching the promotional campaigns is good. 11% of the respondents say that the perception of IPL after watching the promotional campaigns is satisfactory. 7% of the respondents say that the perception of IPL after watching the promotional campaigns is poor. Finally, 2% of the respondents say that the perception of IPL after watching the promotional campaigns is very poor.
  • Merchandise: About 64% of the respondents say that they had bought an IPL product/merchandise after watching an advertisement that they never watched before and 36% of the respondents say that they had never bought an IPL product/merchandise after watching an advertisement that they never watched before.
  • Performance: We also found that 52% of the respondents say that yes the performance of IPL had improved better after implementing their marketing strategies. About 33% of the respondents say that the performance of IPL could have been improved better after implementing their marketing strategies. 8% of the respondents say that nothing has changed in the performance of IPL after implementing their marketing strategies. Finally 7% of the respondents say that the performance of IPL is worse in improving their marketing strategies.
  • Communication: 52% of the respondents say that IPL has done a good job with marketing and advertising by creating ads with an emotional connect. About 33% of the respondents say that IPL has done a good job with marketing and advertising by creating ads that are informative. 8% of the respondents say that IPL has done a good job with marketing and advertising by creating ads that use good brand ambassadors. Finally 7% of the respondents say that IPL has done a good job with marketing and advertising by other concepts.

SWOT analysis

With substantial investments and mass marketing campaigns, the event has turned into a multi-million league and continues to spread its fan following. The SWOT analysis of the IPL can be concluded as under:

Strengths

  • Strong fan following due to nature of sport.
  • Brand ambassadors are celebrities who up the glam quotient.
  • Strong marketing strategies like merchandise.
  • Substantial investments in marketing strategies lead to innovation.

Weakness

  • It is losing its mass appeal due to controversies.
  • No innovation in the sport, although the marketing strategies are changing.
  • Price of tickets.

Opportunities

  • The cricket-crazy nation always brings in opportunity for growth.
  • Merchandising as a marketing strategy could bring in more revenues.
  • The growing number of teenagers in the country like T-20 concept and celebrities.

Threats

  • There is threat of a competing T-20 league emerging any time.
  • Intervention of the government bodies may be a hindrance in its growth.

Reference

  • Allison M, Sport, Culture and Socialization. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 1982.
  • BCCI, the Cricket Board in the 21st Century – A Vision Paper, 2005.

Abhinash Jena

Partner at Project Guru
Abhinash has worked in sales, branding, and marketing functions for GPS companies including MapmyIndia Navigators (www.MapmyIndia.com). In addition to writing for Knowledge Tank articles, he also writes the expert's advice for Thesis & Dissertations and Power Designs.

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