The cricket starved nation of India is keenly awaiting the arrival of September 19, as this is when the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) will commence. The IPL is the richest T20 domestic tournament in the world and has a massive fan following in India. The 2020 IPL has been shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to COVID-19 and will run from September 19 to November 10.
Gaming Operators To Spend Millions On IPL
We can expect the 2020 IPL to have great TRP ratings because no other sports are being played in India. Cricket fans will tune in every night for 53 consecutive nights to watch the IPL extravaganza.
Gambling operators have decided to be very liberal with their advertising and marketing budgets and are set to spend upwards of $40 million combined on the 2020 IPL. The gambling market in India has grown in leaps and bounds during the last couple of years, and the competition for market share has increased significantly.
This is why several gambling operators from different niches, including daily fantasy sports (DFS), online poker, and casino games are interested in running ads during the 2020 IPL as this is the perfect platform to get brand visibility. The 2020 IPL is going to have multiple gambling sponsors ranging from the Mobile Premier League (MPL), Baazi Games, PokerStars India, My11Circle, and Dream11.
Dream11 Main Sponsor of the IPL
One of the reasons why multiple gambling operators have decided to invest heavily in advertising during the 2020 IPL is because the main sponsor for the IPL is Dream11. Chinese company Vivo was the main sponsor for the IPL, but the Chinese mobile manufacturer decided to opt-out mid-August due to on-going tensions between the Indian and Chinese government.
It was DFS operator Dream11 that stepped up to the table as a replacement sponsor was needed urgently, and got the deal done. The BCCI was getting upwards of 400 crore rupees per year from Vivo for their chief sponsorship rights. However, with Vivo out of the picture and very little time before the 2020 IPL commenced, the BCCI was willing to go a lot lower to secure a title sponsor.
Dream11 came up with the winning bid of 220 crore rupees for 2020. In the past, Dream11 was one of the smaller sponsors of the IPL and got a lot of traction after using former captain MS Dhoni as their main brand ambassador. This time around, Dream11 will be making a lot more noise during the IPL as the IPL trophy will be named as Dream11 IPL Trophy.
Gaming Operators Will Advertise Heavily
The Mobile Premier League decided that it would focus on backing one of the IPL franchises as its main sponsor. MPL backed the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who won the IPL trophy in 2012 and 2014. KKR has a good squad for the 2020 IPL and has a strong chance of making it to the playoffs.
Some of the other gaming operators do not have big budgets to become top sponsors for IPL franchises. However, they will still look to advertise consistently during the 2020IPL by using a combination of paid advertisements and brand ambassadors.
MyCircle11 will use both the brand ambassador approach and work with digital media sites that promote the IPL. MyCircle11 has signed several big names, including BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, and Afghanistan leggie Rashid Khan. MyCircle11 will also be advertising its brand on Disney + Hotstar, which is part of the Hotstar network and on cricket friendly platforms like ESPN Cricinfo and CricBuzz.
Baazi Games, which runs a DFS site that has over 4 million users, is going to advertise heavily during the 2020 IPL. The company is so confident of the IPL’s reach that it expects to double its player database and reach 8 million by the end of the 2020 IPL.
Ludo King and PokerStars India are also expected to advertise regularly and look to boost the popularity of their brands. PokerStars is used to dominating nearly every online poker market that it enters into but hasn’t had as much success as it would have liked in India. PokerStars India has also hired MS Dhoni to be its main brand ambassador and will leverage this relationship to boost brand image and offerings in the next 6 weeks.
The 2020 IPL production is expected to be bombarded with gambling adverts from multiple brands. Expect the popularity and player databases for these gambling operators to grow at a rapid pace during the IPL.