MUMBAI: With the first ball in IPL 10 soon to be bowled, broadcaster Sony Pictures Network (SPN) has sold all its advertising spots and reached its target of generating Rs 1,300 crore in advertising revenue.

"IPL is growing every year – even in its tenth year – and this has been by far the best year," declared Rohit Gupta, president of network sales and international business at SPN, as he reported that SPN had sold out its entire inventory.

"We don"t have anything else remaining, except for a few seconds in [the] semi-finals and final," he said in remarks reported by the Economic Times.

"We have got the highest number of sponsors this time, including three co-presenting and 11 associates," he added.

The co-presenting sponsors include Chinese mobile handset maker Vivo, mobile-service provider Vodafone and ecommerce major Amazon, which are paying SPN Rs 5.2 lakh per 10 seconds of advertising time.

The competition has become a magnet for brands seeking to enter the Indian market as it provides an easy way of gaining national awareness across the cricket-loving country.

While Vivo stepped in to replace Pepsi as the tournament sponsor in late 2015, Gionee, another Chinese mobile handset maker, has opted for team sponsorship – and not just one, but two as it has added Royal Challengers Bangalore, last year"s losing finalists, to its existing sponsorship of two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders.

Established brands also direct significant sums towards the competition. "One third of our marketing budget goes in to IPL," Siddharth Banerjee, executive vice-president, marketing, Vodafone, told Afaqs!.

"We believe in 360 degree, we have a few exciting marketing ideas that we do on ground and are also able to leverage on air, so the 360 effort gives us a great return on our investment," he added.

Those include offering fans an opportunity to get the match ball signed by the winning captain on live television, to have dinner with a favourite cricketer or to take part in a practice session.

Data sourced from Economic Times, Afaqs!; additional content by WARC staff