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IPL 2023 and Fantasy Sports Hype: Marketing Opportunities for Brands to Seize

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The IPL fever has not just caught on with the fans, but also with the brands, who are constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to leverage the cricket extravaganza. From sponsoring teams to creating customized merchandise, brands pull out all the stops to connect with their target audience. Whether it’s a snack brand with a new flavor or a fashion brand launching a limited-edition jersey, IPL has become the perfect playground for brands to experiment with their marketing strategies. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the IPL has become as much about the ads as it is about the cricket! So the next time you tune in to watch a match, keep an eye out for the quirky ads and you might just end up being entertained as much by the ads as the game itself.

This is a list of brands that have been quick to seize the opportunity to advertise during IPL and showcase their creativity and spontaneity:

1. TCL – Sunrisers Hyderabad

TCL, one of India’s leading consumer electronics brands, is the official sponsor of the Sunrisers Hyderabad team in IPL. As the official sponsor of the team, TCL is bringing the heat with their social media and on-ground campaigns that are inspiring greatness and getting fans closer to the action. With TCL, it’s not just about the tech, it’s about the thrill of the game and the spirit of the IPL. Let’s get ready to cheer on Sunrisers Hyderabad and make some noise.

2. Tide – Punjab

Tide, the laundry detergent brand, has recently announced its official partnership with Punjab Kings for IPL 2023. This collaboration marks the launch of Tide Liquids in India, which was revealed through a teaser video titled ‘Sadde Punjab ka Naya Favorite’ (our new favorite of Punjab). Meanwhile, Orion has also announced its association with Punjab Kings as the official snacking partner for IPL 2023.

3. BELLA VITA LUXURY

BELLA VITA Luxury, a fragrance brand, has teamed up with Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore as the Official Fragrance Partner for the upcoming 2023 T20 season. As part of the partnership, a major campaign featuring top players from both teams will be launched across products and advertisements.

4. Hindware – Punjab Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore 

Hindware, a leading sanitaryware brand, has recently announced its partnership with Punjab Kings as its principal sponsor and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as an associate sponsor for IPL 2023. The primary aim of this association is to enhance the brand’s visibility and engagement with cricket fans all over India. As part of the partnership, Hindware’s logo will be featured on Punjab Kings players’ caps and helmets, while for RCB, the company logo will be displayed on the non-leading arm of the jersey.

5. Fino Payments Bank teams up with Rajasthan Royals 

Fino Payments Bank has announced the renewal of its partnership with Rajasthan Royals as the team’s digital banking partner for the 16th season of IPL. Through this association, Fino Payments Bank aims to bolster its digital presence by connecting with the franchise’s loyal fan base.

6. Timex –  Gujarat Titans

Timex, a well-known watch brand, has recently announced its partnership with IPL as the official timekeeper for the upcoming season. Along with the association, Timex and Gujarat Titans will aim to provide some of the most thrilling moments to the IPL audience. As part of the partnership, the Timex branding will be displayed on the trousers of Gujarat Titans during the matches.

7. Burger King

Burger King is jumping on the IPL bandwagon by promoting its fries and burgers with names inspired by the IPL. This move aims to tap into the IPL frenzy and capture the attention of cricket fans across the country. By naming its menu items after IPL teams and players, Burger King hopes to create a buzz and engage with its customers in a fun and exciting way.

8. Sunfeast Supermilk – Chennai Super Kings 

ITC Foods’ Sunfeast Supermilk has announced its partnership with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the official strong biscuit partner for the upcoming IPL season. Through this collaboration, Sunfeast Supermilk aims to motivate fans to not just do a regular whistle, but a strong whistle to support their favorite team. This partnership is expected to enhance the brand’s visibility and engagement with cricket enthusiasts across the country.

9. Bombay Shaving Company

The Bombay Shaving Company has recently partnered with the Rajasthan Royals as the team’s official grooming partner for IPL 2023. As part of the association, the Bombay Shaving Company has introduced a co-branded range of shaving and grooming products called the ‘Exclusive Royals Edition’. The collection is designed to commemorate the homecoming of the Rajasthan Royals team and provide young cricket fans with an authentic and uplifting grooming experience. This partnership is expected to enhance the brand’s visibility and create a buzz among cricket enthusiasts all over India.

10. Ubon – Rajasthan Royals

Ubon, a popular audio brand, has recently announced its partnership with Rajasthan Royals as the official headgear and audio sponsor for the upcoming T20 competition. As part of the collaboration, the Rajasthan Royals team will feature Ubon’s logo on their helmets and caps throughout the tournament. This association is expected to enhance Ubon’s brand visibility and create a strong connection with cricket fans across the country.

11. Swiggy

Swiggy has recently won the crown for the best meme-based advertising during the IPL season. In the heat of the tournament, Swiggy released a unique ad film that humorously represented how each IPL team would receive their food deliveries from Swiggy. The ad has garnered attention and appreciation from cricket enthusiasts and foodies alike, and has helped Swiggy to enhance its brand engagement and visibility among its target audience.

12. Qatar Airways – RCB

Qatar Airways has recently partnered with Royal Challengers Bangalore, one of the IPL teams, for a period of three years. As part of this collaboration, the airline’s logo will be prominently featured on the front of the team’s jersey during the upcoming three seasons of the tournament, which is scheduled to take place from March 31 to May 28, 2023. Additionally, Qatar Airways Holidays, the airline’s leisure division, is launching exclusive travel packages that will enable cricket enthusiasts to attend an IPL match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. This partnership is expected to help both the airline and the IPL team expand their reach and engage with a wider audience.

13. Croma – Gujrat Titans

Croma has revealed that it will be joining forces with Gujarat Titans as the official electronics partner for the upcoming season of IPL 2023. The retail giant intends to use this partnership to strengthen its relationship with cricket enthusiasts and reaffirm its commitment to becoming an omnichannel electronics retailer in India, with a focus on young consumers.

14. Celio – Mumbai Indias

Celio India has partnered with Mumbai Indians to release a range of merchandise featuring t-shirts, polos, pants, and vests. The collaboration is aimed at providing fans of the team with high-quality apparel options that they can wear to support their favourite cricket players during the upcoming season of IPL.

15. Bisleri – Delhi Capitals

Bisleri, the popular bottled water brand, has recently entered into a partnership with Delhi Capitals for the upcoming IPL season, as their official hydration partner. This move comes after Bisleri had previously partnered with other IPL teams like Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans. The brand, which is now owned by Tata, has signed a three-year deal with Delhi Capitals, solidifying its presence in the world of cricket.

Increasing Dynamics of Fantasy Sports with IPL

The craze for the Indian Premier League (IPL) has led to a surge in demand for fantasy sports in India. With millions of fans following the IPL, fantasy sports platforms have seen a huge increase in user engagement and revenue. The demand for fantasy sports is high because it allows fans to be more involved in the games they love, creating a deeper connection with their favorite teams and players.

Additionally, fantasy sports platforms offer a unique opportunity for fans to use their knowledge and expertise to compete against other fans and win prizes. This has created a new and exciting way for fans to engage with sports and has helped to further drive the popularity of fantasy sports in India.

What are fantasy sports?

Fantasy sports is a popular online gaming platform where players create virtual teams of real sports players who are part of a specific league such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), English Premier League (EPL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and others. It provides players with a realistic experience of professional sports, allowing them to showcase their talent and knowledge of the game while having fun. Additionally, several games enable players to earn money based on their skills and gaming strategy. India has several fantasy sports platforms such as Dream 11, MPL, Balle Baazi, My Team 11, Fancode, and more, which have become a boon to Indian society. Virtual gaming has become an integral part of Indian sports culture.

Growth of Fantasy Sports

The Indian gaming industry has undergone a significant transformation over the past few decades with the emergence of new technologies. The proliferation of smartphones and the internet has paved the way for the growth of the online gaming industry in India, and fantasy sports is one of the most prominent segments of this industry.

Although the fantasy sports industry in India is still in its nascent stages as compared to countries like Canada and the USA, it has seen a massive increase in the number of fans and participants in recent years. In India, cricket has always been the most popular sport, and the Indian Premier League (IPL) has emerged as a major platform for fantasy sports gaming.

The Indian sports industry was already thriving, but the integration of technology has taken it to new heights. Fantasy sports gaming, in particular, has gained immense popularity in recent years, as it enables sports fans to be active participants in their desired games and have a closer experience of real-time action.

The growth of fantasy sports has also given rise to several new online gaming platforms in India such as Dream 11, MPL, Balle Baazi, My Team 11, and Fancode, which have provided a platform for millions of Indians to showcase their skills and knowledge of the game. These platforms have also allowed participants to earn money through their proficient skills and gaming pattern.

Reason for the Growth of Fantasy Sports

The growth of fantasy sports in India can be attributed to a number of factors. Firstly, the passion for sports, particularly cricket, in India is unmatched. Fans love to follow their favorite teams and players, and fantasy sports allow them to become more involved in the action by assembling their own virtual teams.

Additionally, the increasing availability of technology, particularly smartphones, has made it easier for fans to access fantasy sports platforms and participate in the games. With the rise of 4G networks and the affordability of smartphones, more and more people in India now have access to the internet and can participate in online gaming.

Another factor contributing to the growth of fantasy sports in India is the opportunity to win money through these platforms. While betting on sports is largely illegal in India, fantasy sports are considered a game of skill and are therefore legal. Many platforms allow users to participate in paid contests, offering the chance to win cash prizes based on their performance.

The role of “The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports”

The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) was established to regulate and control the Indian Fantasy Sports industry, ensuring consumer protection and creating opportunities for growth. It has laid down guidelines and a charter for online Fantasy Sports Platforms (OFSP) to adhere to. Many popular fantasy sports platforms have emerged in India in recent years, with Dream11 being one of the top platforms. MPL, Fancy11, Faboom, Fanfight, Guru 11, Balle Baazi, My11 Circle, My Team 11, and Fancode are some other applications that have gained popularity in the Indian market. These platforms offer users a variety of games to play and allow them to compete against each other while showcasing their knowledge and skills in the sport. With the increasing popularity of fantasy sports in India, these applications are expected to continue to grow and become more sophisticated over time.

Popular Fantasy Sports Apps and Their USPs

Fantasy Sports AppUnique Selling Proposition (USP)
PlayerzpotMore chances to win, free-to-enter leagues, eight languages, and submit a team before the second innings.
Sport 11Separate contests for beginners and experts.
LeagueXMore chances to win, free-to-enter leagues, eight languages, and submit a team before the second innings.
FaboomRanks all players instead of just selecting captains/vice-captains.
GoSuper11Instant settlement of winnings.
GamezyAvailable in English and Hindi, 24×7 assistance, regular and safe play.
My Team 11No deposit is required power up in super league format, star contest.
CricPlayBeat the experts’ challenge.
11 WicketsOption to select substitutes.
Mobile Premier LeagueFeatured events, immediate cash-out.
My 11 CircleBeat the experts challenge.
HowzatUnique scoring system.
FantainFan engagement, chat, purchasing of merchandising, ticketing, and souvenirs.
HalaPlayOldest fantasy app, various formats, and challenges to win cash prizes up to lakhs of rupees.
BallebazziBowling and batting fantasy modes, user-friendly interface.
Dream 11Allows 100% usage of referral cash, the potential for lifetime earnings from referrals.
Fun2Play1 vs 1 matches, no credit limit in Fan2Play.
Fan Fight Cricket FantasyOpportunity to win 20 times.
Real 11Offers joining and referral bonuses, less competitive.
Fantasy Power 11Direct redemption of winnings to the bank account.
Paytm First GamesMulti-sport, multiplayer contests, trivia quizzes.
Khel ChampsOffers up to 500% bonus cash.
Nostra ProPredictions-based gameplay for wins.
Fan MojoNo deposit is required Power up in super league format, star contest.
My Fab 11Up to 100% bonus usage for game creation.

Fantasy Sports and its Illegal delima

The legality of fantasy sports and betting apps varies by country and jurisdiction. In some places, they are fully legal and regulated, while in others they may be illegal or operate in a gray area.

In India, the legality of fantasy sports has been a topic of debate. However, the Indian government has recognized fantasy sports as a game of skill and not chance, which means it is legal to play. The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) is a self-regulatory body that regulates the industry and ensures fair play.

As for the safety of users, reputable fantasy sports platforms have measures in place to protect their users’ data and ensure fair play. They use advanced encryption technologies to protect user information and secure transactions. Additionally, they often have customer support teams in place to address any concerns or issues that users may encounter.

The Future of Fantasy Sports in India

It’s important to note that while fantasy sports are legal in India, there are certain regulations and guidelines that need to be followed. The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) has laid down a charter for online Fantasy Sports Platforms (OFSP) to follow, and it is mandatory for all platforms to be a member of FIFS. These guidelines ensure that the platforms operate in a fair and transparent manner, protecting the interests of the players and ensuring responsible gaming.

As for the safety of users, most reputable fantasy sports platforms use advanced encryption and security measures to protect their users’ personal and financial information. Additionally, these platforms often have dedicated customer support teams to address any concerns or issues faced by users.

While it is important for users to exercise caution and do their research before participating in any online gaming or betting activity, fantasy sports platforms in India are generally considered to be safe and legal for users to enjoy.

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