With just three weeks to go for the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League, official broadcaster Star Sports has already inked sponsorship deals with 10 sponsors for the live telecast.

The broadcaster confirmed that Byju’s, Phone Pe, Just Dial, Frooti, Dream11, Livguard, SBI, Kamla Pasand, Bingo and Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) have padded up as sponsors for IPL.

Media buying agencies said that advertisers’ interest to pick up sponsorship or ad spots on the T20 league is stronger this year. Sentiments around ad spends have improved compared to last year and there is high interest from summer-centric product makers.

Ad rates soar

According to sources, the broadcaster has hiked ad rates by 10-15 per cent compared to the previous season. The broadcaster is learnt to be quoting ₹13-14 lakh per ten seconds for ad spots. Sources also said that there is likely to be a renewed interest from categories such as mobile phones, dominated by the Chinese players, who were lying low during the previous season, due to geopolitical tensions.

In 2020, Star Sports had roped in 18 sponsors and a total of 110 advertisers. The T20 league had also witnessed a viewership growth of 23 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.

Replying to a BusinessLine query, Anil Jayaraj, Executive Vice-President, Star Sports, said, “After the announcement of VIVO IPL tournament schedule and the launch of our campaign #IndiaKaApnaMantra, there has been high-level excitement and interest around the property amongst the fans. This clubbed with the return of IPL in India and being back to its original summer window has given us an extremely encouraging response from the brands.” He added that there is pent-up demand and the tourney continues to garner interest from a wide variety of categories – old and new.

“IPL audience is gender and age-agnostic, hence it makes sense for the advertisers to cater to different demographics via a single platform,” he said.

The company said that it is witnessing significant interest from multiple brand categories including Ed Tech, fantasy sports, FMCG, beverages, financial services and pay wallets among others.

Summer season

Sandeep Goyal, Chairman, Mogae Media, said, “Few categories such as summer focussed product makers such as ACs and beverages, will be making significantly higher spends compared to last year, with IPL being held, as per its original schedule in the summer season. I also feel India’s strong performance in cricket in recent months is also contributing to the bullish sentiment of advertisers.”

Ashish Bhasin, CEO, APAC & Chairman India at Dentsu, said, “Sentiments around ad spends have been improving month-on- month and businesses are gradually moving towards normalised operations. These factors will further boost ad spends on IPL in the upcoming season.”