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Brands flock to World T20

News, 09 March 2016

NEW DELHI: As the ICC World Twenty20 cricket tournament gets under way in India, brands large and small are looking to exploit both traditional and digital media to a greater extent than ever, especially with the Indian team fresh from winning the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

"Whenever India is on a winning spree or is expected to win, the interest in watching the game is very high, leading to high ratings and high advertiser interest," noted Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director of media agency Madison World.

According to Mint, the current tournament will be a "money spinner" for Star India, the official broadcaster, with the TV network expected to amass more than Rs 300 crore over the next four weeks from a total of 19 associate sponsors, co-presenting sponsors and commercial partners.

Among the co-presenting sponsors are Flipkart, the e-commerce firm, automaker Nissan and OPPO a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, which are each thought to be paying in the region of Rs 24 crore each to acquire some 125 seconds of airtime per match.

Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer of Star India highlighted the scale and impact on offer – with more than 100m viewers aggregated over a three-hour T20 match – and claimed that Hotstar, Star India's digital brand and an associate sponsor in its own right while also holding the digital rights to live broadcasts, was "becoming the primary screen for an increasing number of consumers in metros".

The growth of digital access to the event has meant many brands are now looking to programmatic buying to reach consumers, according to Ahmed Naqvi, chief executive officer at digital and social media agency Gozoop.

He told the Economic Times that smaller local brands were also investing in digital and social media around the tournament.

And Twitter confirmed an increase in the number of brands advertising on the platform for the upcoming cricket season.

Already the total is up around 50% on last year and "we expect the momentum to grow further as the season progresses", said Taranjeet Singh, business head, Twitter India.

He added that "38% of cricket fans on Twitter are actively looking out for match promotions or competitions from sponsors. During #ICCWorldCup, 29% are going to be on the lookout for promos even more".

Data sourced from Mint, Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff