Maruti Suzuki pads up as official partner of IPL

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2018

National passion Cricket fans having a closer look at the IPL trophy at a mall in Hyderabad on Monday KVS GIRI

Carmaker signs agreement with BCCI for two seasons

Maruti Suzuki India has entered into an agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to become the official partner of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The agreement, which was signed last week, will be for the two seasons of 2016 and 2017.

With this deal, the country’s leading carmaker joins the league of official partners for IPL, such as Vodafone, YES Bank and Freecharge.

Sanjeev Handa, Vice-President, Maruti Suzuki India, told BusinessLine: “The company has always had a strong association with cricket, which is a religion in the country. This is the first time we are entering into this strategic partnership to become the on-ground sponsor for IPL. One of the key reasons has been the launch of our Vitara Brezza, which is all about glamour and performance and IPL epitomises these values.”

-Vitara Brezza

The deal will not only give Maruti Suzuki India a strong on-ground visibility during the IPL matches, but will give it rights for in-stadia car display of its compact sports utility vehicle -Vitara Brezza.

Handa said the company believes IPL will be a strong platform to reach its core target audience, and gives the company a strategic window of about two months to engage with Indian consumers. The company also plans to have a strong on-air presence, besides on the social media platform during the season.

In recent times, the carmaker has been growing its focus on brand associations with various sports, such as the Indian Super League, International Premier Tennis League, and English Premier League, among others.

“Our marketing spends on association with sports will go up by 20 per cent compared with last year,” Handa added, but did not comment on the exact money the company would be paying BCCI for the two seasons. Overall, the company spends about 12 per cent of its marketing budget on sports.

It has also been making significant spends across general entertainment and movie channels in the past few years.

Clutter-free space

Brand experts say that while on-air sponsorships for IPL have become fairly cluttered in the past few years, on-ground sponsorship is fairly clutter-free, giving brands more bang for their bucks.

BCCI has been working on increasing its revenues across all its properties.

Over the past few weeks, it has signed up long-term partnerships with PepsiCo and Hyundai for all domestic and international matches organised by the BCCI in India, except IPL.

Published on March 21, 2016

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