How IPL has changed the industry, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

<p>While cricket existed right from pre-independence time, the Gentlemen's Game took its time to become one of the most celebrated sports in India. </p>
While cricket existed right from pre-independence time, the Gentlemen’s Game took its time to become one of the most celebrated sports in India.

Cricket is the uniting force that binds our country together. Whether it is the people watching a match in the stadium, at home or through the glass doors of TV showrooms and restaurants, there’s always a sense of belonging, brethren, and pure love for the game that reflects among all Indians. While cricket existed right from pre-independence time, the Gentlemen’s Game took its time to become one of the most celebrated sports in India. It was in 1983 when the Indian cricket team won the World Cup against West Indies the game gained momentum in India and positively impacted Indian cricket. Since then, India has produced many legendary cricketers, including Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. The introduction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008 was an extension to this cricket mania and phenomenon.

In the last 16 years, the IPL has turned out to be a phenomenal success. It is no less than a festival in India that people from each age group look forward to. IPL has made sports more accessible to advertisers than ever before. Also, there is an increasing demand among audiences for more engagement, action, and thrill yearly. With IPL, it is paramount for brands to capitalize on the highly positive consumer sentiment to ensure profit. Ever since the inception of this cricketing event, brands have used the IPL as the face of their marketing campaigns.

IPL has garnered incremental media attention, endorsements, advertisements, marketing and TRP ratings. It has redefined the sports marketing landscape by offering opportunities to brands to scale their businesses by increasing their visibility, fan engagement, and lucrative association with other brands.

Depending on their budget and objective, brands market their products through all communication avenues and develop creative initiatives like behind-the-scenes and sneak peeks to engage with their audience. This article dives deeper into how IPL is ushering in a new era for sports marketing by revolutionizing the way brands develop their marketing strategies and target their audience group.

1. Viewership:

The viewership of IPL has increased significantly since its inception. It started in 2008 with an average viewership of 40 million for each match. By 2023, the average viewership had risen to 400 million. This growth trajectory has made cricket an attractive brand proposition, opening more opportunities to reach a large audience base. The IPL has been a game-changer for every stakeholder involved in the league. Everyone has a pie they can take home, be it the players, the sponsors or the audiences. With free streaming of the IPL 2023 on JioCinema, the viewer base has increased drastically by capturing the untapped segments of the Indian consumer base who are highly sensitive to price points.

JioCinema broadcasting IPL for free users was meant to increase the viewership of the league and the brands to increase manifold. OTT allows brands to customize ad targeting based on diverse criteria like age, location, and device affordability. This guarantees that advertisements reach individuals who are likely to have an interest in the product or service or who can refer it to potentially interested parties.

2. Celebrity Endorsements:

One of the significant impacts of the IPL on sports marketing has been the increase in celebrity endorsements. The league is all about glitz and glamour; it has brought together international cricket stars, Bollywood celebrities, and business tycoons as team owners, creating a perfect storm for brand collaborations. The combination of on-field performances and off-field glamour has made IPL players highly sought-after brand ambassadors, leading to a surge in endorsement deals, and influencing the advertising industry. Every year before IPL, brands release advertising content featuring players or celebrities related to IPL on all media platforms.

3. Digital Promotion and Engagement:

The IPL has embraced the digital revolution. It has started leveraging social media platforms and streaming services to connect with fans across the globe. Digital platforms allow you to create various ad formats, including pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads, only to name a few. With this flexibility, you can unleash your creativity and design captivating ads that captivate and engage your audience. Investing in influencers marketing through digital platforms also gives an edge to brands against their competitors.

4. Regional Marketing and Grassroot Impacts:

The Indian Premier League (IPL) stands out with its distinctive city-based team framework, offering marketers a valuable opportunity to focus on targeted regional markets. This localization factor has fueled regional marketing as brands harness the enthusiastic regional fan bases linked to each team. By associating with a specific team, brands can tap into the dedicated loyalty and fervour of local fans, resulting in heightened visibility and market expansion in specific regions.


The Indian Premier League has undeniably transformed the landscape of sports marketing. Its ability to attract top-notch talent, create engaging fan experiences, and leverage digital platforms has made it a hotbed for advertising and marketing.

  • Published On Jun 13, 2023 at 08:30 AM IST

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