Go local, go small.
Taking a leaf out of the value for money (VFM) brand-building strategy, advertisers are seeking to cash in on the local popularity of individual Indian Premier League (IPL) teams this season, rather than invest in the central event itself.
The reason: teams have strong local brand recall value, city-specific loyalty and it is cheaper.
Unlike the previous season, the five-year old popular league has attracted significantly higher local ad content focussed clearly on local brands.
Consider this: Bikaji Namkeen, Rambandhu Spices and Sanskar School are among the sponsors of Rahul Dravid-led Rajasthan Royals. Likewise, punjabnewsline, a local portal is the sponsor of Kings XI Punjab.
Experts said the snazzier version of the game can offer a strong platform for local brands.
"The price of a central sponsorship (approximately R35 crore), restricts the number of advertisers," said a media buyer. "But to advertise through separate teams, one can invest from as low as R10 lakh to R8 crore."
Team managements echoed similar opinion.
"The traction of local advertisers is way better than the last season," said Arvinder Singh, chief operating office, Kings XI Punjab, through which a mix of more than 15 global and local brands is advertising.
The central event has also received queries from regional brands keen on building brands.
"The queries have been varied and across a wide section of advertisers," Sundar Raman, CEO, IPL. "But individual teams will take care of local advertisers."
"It is a pocket-friendly way to create awareness and excitement around your brand," said Dhiraj Malu, of Rajasthan-based Rambandhu Spices. "Some advertisers are sceptical about the worth the association could bring to a regional company."
"As an advertiser, we would definitely be interested," said Aman Ahluwalia, managing director, punjabnewsline.com. "The brand can be tied in interestingly with the event and the local connect can be leveraged."