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  • Rovindu Ambagolla

Brand Times >>> Tata Enters Branding in the IPL


Picture Credit: Yogendra Singh


If you are a fan of cricket, then the chances are you have heard of the IPL. The Indian Premier League is one of the biggest and most glamorous cricket tournaments of the year, and professional cricket players from all over the world meet in India to play for one of the iconic IPL teams. The IPL is structured in a format that promises short but exciting matches and its popularity grew at such an exponential rate that in 2018 over 760 million fans tuned in to watch the matches.


So, being the title sponsor for such a massive event grants unparalleled levels of brand recognition and exposure to products. In 2017, Vivo, the smartphone manufacturer based in China, signed a five-year sponsorship contract worth over an estimated $341 million with the IPL. However, due to the recent clashes between Chinese and Indian military personnel along the Galwan Valley and the tension between the two states, the organisation which oversees the IPL (BCCI) has faced backlash for having a Chinese company as the head sponsor for the event this year. In turn, Vivo decided to pull out of the sponsorship deal after paying $61 million.


The Tata Group has since then taken over the position of title sponsor for the IPL after Vivo revoked their sponsorship deal. According to recent estimates, Tata has paid over $90 million to secure the deal and it was made in the nick of time as the 2022 IPL is scheduled to start on the second of April.


Picture Source: IPL T20 website


The BCCI’s Secretary, Jay Shah commented, “This is indeed a momentous occasion for the BCCI IPL as the Tata Group is the epitome of global Indian enterprise with over a 100-year-old legacy and operations in more than 100 countries and across six continents”.


However, there is still the question of why the Tata Group paid so much money to sponsor this year’s IPL, as Tata does not need any brand recognition in India. Experts believe that the move was made in order to promote their up-and-coming “super-app” TataNeu. The app is said to combine a multitude of different functionalities such as online groceries, online pharmacy, Ecommerce, consumer electronics, fashion retail and even the ability to book flights and hotel rooms.


Experts believe that Tata Group is targeting a younger audience base through the IPL. “The reason for taking up the sponsorship would be to try and give Tata a slightly more youthful appeal which will connect with the millennials and Gen Z”, commented Ambi Parameswaran, an independent brand coach and founder of Brand-Building.com.


Even with the unexpected switch of sponsors, the IPL is still set to commence play on the second of April 2022.


January 13th 2022 | 6:10 PM

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