The cricket fever is well and truly at its peak. As the Indian Premier League enters the knockout stages of the tournament, setting the cash registers flowing in every aspect, there is more good news for the broadcaster. Star India, who is also the official broadcaster for the ICC World Cup 2019 in India, has already signed up 35 advertisers. This makes up roughly 60% of the advertisement inventory for the premier cricket tournament that starts from 30th May.
PhonePe and Havells have come on board as the co-presenting sponsors, while Amazon, Byju’s, policybazaar.com, Royal Stag, Dream11, MRF and paisabazaar.com have been signed up as associate sponsors. Pernod Ricard, Ceat Tyres, Acko General Insurance, and Mondelez are a few other brands that have been signed on for advertising across the digital and TV mediums for Star India.
A senior Star India executive, on the condition of anonymity, said, “the momentum going into the ICC World Cup is very positive, with the market feedback being good. A month in advance and we already have 35 advertisers. The market feedback is very good, and this is going to be our biggest World Cup”.
Sources in Star India also said that they are positive that they can sell around 90% of the ad inventory by the middle of May, with the rest of the slots being saved for the last minute buyers.
Media experts believe that the power of cricket, especially the fanfare the sport generates in India, is the main reason behind Star India witnessing this extent of advertising sales despite the current year seeing a drop in the industry for all other major players. The conservative projections for the company from ad sales are being estimated around ₹ 1000 Crores. Other reasons for an increased interest from advertisers in the ICC World Cup 2019, could be the increase in the number of matches played by India when compared with the 2015 edition of the tournament. The timings for the matches coinciding with prime time TV slots thanks to the time difference with the host country England could also have played a huge role in driving the ad sales.
According to Anand Chakravarthy, the Managing Director at Essence India, a Group M company, the upcoming cricket world cup is definitely a hot property for advertisers and brands looking to create an impact with their target audience. Chakravarthy said, “The World Cup is a high impact property which can be of use for brands for short term gains as well as building long term equity. A once in a four-year event, the ICC World Cup is the holy grail of cricket and one of the biggest entertainment options in India. Cricket cuts across and is completely geo-agnostic”.
Scheduled to be played over one and a half months, starting on May 30, the ICC World Cup will witness 10 national teams going up against each other to bag the biggest prize in world cricket. With a change in format introducing a round-robin style of the league phase, every team will be playing at least 9 matches. With India being among the favorites, there is a high chance that the team will make it to the semi-finals. All of this excitement and entertainment should make for interesting few days ahead for Star India, with advertisers undoubtedly scampering to be associated with the biggest cricket tournament in the world.