IPL, The Indian Premier League started out as a platform for the young generation of Indian players to showcase their talent and also increase the universal aspect of the sport. Needless to say, this has been possible because of the sponsors and brands that have invested their money in this sport to advertise themselves as much as possible. Cricket is the sport with most viewership across India. And while conducting about 60 matches in 45-47 days, IPL is the one league that steals most of it. So all the brands see it as a potential market.
Before 2008, cricket had been a sport that had been utilized by brands but not to a great extent. But now, this scenario has completely changed. For instance, many brands do not hesitate to pay anywhere in the ballpark of 5 to 10 crores just to get their logo featured upon the jersey. This may seem ridiculous but the amount of promotion that this jersey provides them is immense. Also, the demand for IPL is soaring so high that advertisers are ready to pay about 10 crores for an ad of a duration of just 10 seconds. IPL is itself worth more than 5.3 billion and no longer depends upon cricket. It is the money now that decides who wins or loses. Each match is worth as much as any English football Premier League match.
Vivo became the title sponsor with a bid of 338 million in the year 2018. Each brand has spent at least 54 crores on their respective franchise. Thus the lessons that can be derived from all this are that the game has turned into business completely now. The players just resemble puppets that carry the load of the logos of various brands on their jerseys. The game has turned into a money making machine like an institution. Also due to some match fixing and spot fixing scandals, the viewership that is primarily dedicated to watching good and honest cricket is decreasing rapidly. Zee entertainment is even offering a joint package for brands to advertise themselves at 40 percent less price than the IPL, VIVO, Videocon, Jio, JBL are some of the many brands that are using IPL as means to promote themselves. This kind of advertising helps because it is repetitive and like a flash in the eye each time, it sinks into the minds of the viewers.
The viewership of IPL is a whopping 202 million across the online platform like hotstar. The viewership across television accounts to an average of 33.1 million. IPL is now not limited just to television, newspapers, and stadium but the matches are also screened in cinema halls and online. So the viewership has widened even more. Cricket is more like a religion in India and our brands know it, so they try to steal a piece of the prize.