Currently there are 88 players playing in IPL, and guess how many brands are involved with them? There are 125 brands involved with these 88 players. These are brands who are team sponsors, beverage sponsors, insurance sponsors, jersey sponsors, smile sponsors and even a university sponsor! Now that’s not where the count ends, add to it the title sponsor, the five television telecast sponsors, the strategic time out sponsor, the catch sponsor, and brands whose ads are telecast inside the stadium on giant screen, and brands that have taken the perimeter boards on the boundary, and the branding on the blimp above the stadium and the online video streaming partner, and the sixer sponsor and the four sponsor. We are looking at over 150 brands that are chasing 88 players
Is that fair?
Why is it that all brands are chasing the IPL bandwagon? The basic rule of brand communication is to do your best to avoid clutter. Brand managers work hard to ensure that they are in an environment where there is less clutter for their brand to stand out and connect better. IPL, though is different. Afterall there are 88 players and almost everyone across the world is only watching IPL, if not on TV than on you tube, and if not on you tube than in theatres. The brands have no choice but to be on IPL. How can you miss out on the good thing?
I must add here that empirical evidence is really against me at this stage. While IPL is generating good numbers, the numbers are not overwhelmingly huge. And while GEC are showing decline, the decline is not alarming.
How can than the brands miss on India’s biggest sports carnival? Here are some ideas and innovations that will go a long way in ensuring that 150 brands become 300, and the audience cheers for each brand.
There are sponsors who sponsor fours and sixes. The tourney should now have brands that sponsor singles, twos, and threes as well. And while we are at it lets get a sponsor for every dot ball and for every maiden over. In fact the most expensive sponsorship should be for the maiden over, as you are not going to get many of them. Imagine how well will the brand stand in clutter and what kind of recall it will generate.
Now let’s look at the player jersey’s. There is a lot of scope here. While the upper half of uniform is fairly branded, the lower half is fairly devoid of any branding. That is really a precious waste of advertising space. Especially when the fast bowler comes charging down to bowl and the camera pans him, there are large gaps that you can see.
The umpires too are feeling left out, as the players get to don a lot of brands, but the umpires have only one brand. This will create an imbalance that will hurt the umpires in the long run. They need to be enriched and empowered. They are waiting for brands to be associated with them. With just two umpires on field who have to constantly run across the pitch they are very valuable moving advertising mediums.
But the real waste of space is the ground itself. How unfair is to have just five logos on the ground? Imagine how much value can be unlocked by just opening the ground for brands to occupy? Imagine the revenue that can be generated if 100 square feet of area s given to each brand on ground, we can easily fit in 50 more brands.
And we love watching ads. We cannot do without our daily dose of ads. Before the start of ecvery match, we must screen at least 15 minutes of ads on the giant screen, and the cheerleaders should cheer every ad in their unique style.
You see, it’s not difficult to increase the number of brands involved with IPL, after all why should any brand miss out?
We at Dentsu recently did a very large study on IPL just before it commenced, and came up with some startling findings. After two years of high octane action, the recall of principle sponsor of IPL does not cross half way mark. For most teams the fans don’t know the principle sponsor, or worst their full names. People are watching the games, following the stars, but are they connecting with brands?
May be its time for the brand managers to evaluate the issue of being associated with IPL with new perspective. Either you own it in a big way, or don’t venture near it.
Not 300, may be just 30
Published at http://www.mediaworldbuzz.com in April 2010