MUMBAI: Cricket advertising is poised to grow 15-20 per cent in the next three years, overcoming a slowdown over the past two years, as new-age ecommerce and technology companies seek to enhance their visibility by reaching out to millions of the game’s fans, according to media agencies. Three deals have already set the stage for the increased spending: MRF as the global partner for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Ceat Tyres as the strategic time-out partner for the Indian Premier League and Paytm’s contract with the Board of Control for Cricket in India on title sponsorship for 84 matches for the next four years.
“We expect an 8-10 per cent growth for 2015. And if we take 2015 as the base, then I think cricket advertising would grow by at least 15-20 per cent in the next three years,” said Vinit Karnik, national director, entertainment, sports and live events (ESP) at GroupM , who was instrumental in stitching the Paytm-BCCI deal. “Cricket advertising grew 9 per cent in 2013. However, the growth slowed down in 2014 and came down to the 2012 level.”
“Cricket advertising would grow by at least 20 per cent in the next three years,” said Ousep Joseph of PMG, the sports marketing unit of Madison World, adding that the Paytm deal will open the doors for this new set of advertisers. CricBuzz, the online and mobile cricket news and information company owned by
Times Internet, has just picked up the title sponsorship deal for the test series between India and Sri Lanka starting later this month. “A new set of advertisers has come in to build their brands on the back of the new Indian cricket team,” said Karnik. “Growth will come from the new ecommerce, digital and tech companies,” he added.
Karnik said the first big players were the tobacco and liquor companies, followed by “the Pepsis and Heros of the world.” The cola wars were fought 10 years ago on the back of cricket, followed by telecom five years ago and now, it is the ecomm companies, said Shashi Sinha, CEO of IPG Mediabrands India.
Joseph of PMG said the traditional big cricket spenders won’t entirely exit the game because of its sheer reach.