With the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 set to start next month, team franchises are signing last-minute sponsorship deals with brands. Brand partnerships are expected to pick up this season, with the ongoing vaccination drive acting as a confidence booster and last year’s impressive performance. For this year’s edition, team franchises expect a 20 to 40% increase in sponsorship revenue over last year’s tournament.
For example, Delhi Capitals extended its association with JSW Group as title sponsor for three years on March 5, 2021. The team also signed GMR as a new sponsor while extending its partnership with APL Apollo and Jio for this season.
Vinod Bisht, interim chief executive officer (CEO), Delhi Capitals, said, “With restrictions around in-stadia audience, digital deals comprising content and online promotions are getting popular. Franchises have realized that this stream will become bigger with time. These deals could be with experiential, tech and new-age brands, which are competing with each other to be associated with an IPL franchise. We are also looking at brands whose content will appeal to fans before signing them. We are looking at an increase of 30 to 35% or better than that considering we are still in conversation with multiple brands.”
Kings XI Punjab is forecasting a 20 to 25% jump in revenue this season with an expectation to cross Rs40 crore. Recently, the team franchise has signed BKT Tyres and Lotus Herbals.
Satish Menon, chief executive, Kings XI Punjab IPL team, said, “digital deals would take off big time this year at a starting rate of Rs1 crore to Rs2 crore. We are still in conversation with multiple brands for such deals which offer good return on investment given the outlay is low. Such deals are also helping new brands to come into IPL fold by using player’s images and trademarks for co-branded campaigns and deals. I believe such deals will also eventually bump up overall jersey pricing and sponsorship size.”
Rajasthan Royals is building long-term relationships with brands like Red Bull, Jio, Colgate, and homegrown sanitary napkin brand Niine.
Jake Lush McCrum, chief operating officer (COO), Rajasthan Royals, said, “From a sponsorship perspective, we are expecting to achieve a 40% increase over IPL 2020. We have secured all of our major partners for the upcoming season and have built holistic packages with each of them. With regards to the on-pitch assets, we want to remove the clutter as much as possible to maximize each brand’s visibility, which we have achieved by combining spots, such as for Red Bull.”