The Indian Premier League (IPL) may have been robbed of the ‘I’ for this season, but hosting it in a foreign country is not expected to hurt the official broadcaster — Multi Screen Media (MSM) — in its efforts to secure sponsors and sell advertisement slots during the 37-day tournament that kicks off on April 18.
MSM have already sold 70 % of the total ad slots available and are expecting that figure to go close to the 85% mark come the first game.
“We are well on track to better our numbers from last season,” Rohit Gupta, MSM president told the Hindustan Times. The constant speculation over the future of the IPL and the ongoing recession has not, said Gupta, hurt MSM's chances of attracting sponsors.
“Despite a lot being written about how we would be taking a big hit this season, companies were queuing up to be associated with the IPL,” Gupta said. Almost all the sponsors from last season are back, with only Citibank and Max New York Life Insurance opting out. Gupta attributed this to the ‘troubles in the financial sector’.
A 10-second ad slot has been sold for 4 lakhs so far, with Gupta expecting that number to hit the 8-lakh mark come the business end of the event.
Industry sources said that MSM altered its strategy of winning sponsors this season. While the IPL was a novel concept last year, and a venture only the big players could dive into without being sure of the profitability, the picture is completely different this year.
In an effort to accommodate more, smaller sponsors, MSM have given the companies the option to buy slots for alternate games in order to increase their sponsorship base.