Meera Mohanty

New Delhi, June 1 “It’s a landmark in the history of cricket, and a great display of India to the world,” said Mr Sunder Raman, CEO, DLF Indian Premier League, having to scream into his phone to be audible over the rising din in the background.

As the excitement on Sunday evening was being whipped up by the marketing team and audience at the IPL finals in Mumbai, those who had taken a bet on the new league were there to make the most noise.

“We are very happy with the first edition of the event; it has been extremely encouraging and we hope to take it to greater success next year,” added Mr Raman. According to sports marketers, the $2-billion plus property is set to grow significantly bigger next year.

Broadcaster Sony Entertainment Television sold the 200-odd seconds saved from the inventory for the semi-finals and finals at rates of Rs 8-10 lakh each. “We can’t predict ratings, but given that a good match has gone up to 6-7 TRPs (television viewership ratings), we hope the finals to fetch us between 8-10 in vierwership ratings,” said Mr Rohit Gupta, President, Network Sales, Licensing and Telephony, Sony Entertainment Television.

According to media buyers, the DLF IPL is mopping up a significant amount from the market during the period. It’s a huge window, and unlike the World Cup, which takes place once in four years, the DLF IPLs will be an annual opportunity.

Year Two will see both the prices for those associating themselves as well as those of the teams go up significantly for sure, says Mr Mahesh Ranka, GM, Relay Worldwide. “The brand has to, however, work harder and stretch the association through the year for the next eight months, beyond the two months that the IPLs last, for the investment to make sense. From an advertising opportunity it has to become a marketing platform,” said Mr Ranka.

With another 9-10 months before the next league, teams will have enough time to sell, and are not expected to sell future associations cheap.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 2, 2008)
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