The Indian Premier League season (IPL 2020) revival has brought back smiles on the faces of fans but most of the league’s franchises are in fix. Reason, the uncertainty since last few months around the IPL 2020 and Covid19 pandemic led economic downturn has resulted in some of the sponsors pulling out from the sponsorship commitments.
InsideSport has reliably learnt that all the 8 franchises have lost at-least one of its sponsor on the team jersey. Not only this, 3 of the leading IPL teams have lost their title sponsors i.e front jersey partners.
Some of the franchise officials InsideSport spoke to admitted that even the sponsors who have decided to stay back want to negotiate on the signed commitments.
“Though we are extremely pleased that IPL 2020 has been revived and we will have full fledged season in UAE, we have issue around the sponsors. Before the IPL was suspended, we had sold almost 95% of our inventory. But now the situation is, we are without our main sponsors. I have been talking to other teams as well and they also are in the same boat”, said key official of one of the IPL franchise.
“Sponsors are badly hit. Moreover we are moving the tournament to almost different weather cycle. In summers different category of sponsors advertise and in winters altogether different category hits the market. Tell me, what an Air Conditioner brand will do with us in the month of Oct-Nov? It will be difficult to find sponsors at the same values on which we had earlier signed our deals. But IPL is happening during festival time, we are hopeful that at-least we will get replacements for the ones who have pulled out”, said CEO of one of the franchise.
IPL 2020 : IPL franchises in fix as sponsors back out
Though the sponsor pull-out is happening across the board, according to the information available with InsideSport some of the worst hit franchises includes Rajasthan Royals, KingsXI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals. InsideSport had earlier reported in the month of April that Dubai Expo, the title partner of Rajasthan Royals has decided to withdraw from their sponsorship commitment. The Royals had signed very significant deal with Dubai Expo for this season of IPL but due to Covid19, the expo in Dubai got postponed for a year which resulted in pull-out by the sponsor.
Industry is also warning that the IPL 2020 in UAE will not get the same response as it use to all these years. RS Sodhi, Managing Director of Amul just few weeks back had predicted that IPL in this tough market will not even get 50% of what it use to attract.
“A lot of categories went through financial pressure, which might continue to happen. So, if IPL happens, they will not get half the rates what they were getting previously because inventories are the same and spending has come down considerably”, said RS Sodhi, Managing Director of Amul.
“There will be a lot of bargaining, advertisers will expect to get maximum exposure with minimum spends. IPL revenue might not be the same”, said Sodhi.
IPL 2020 : Will the downturn also hit the IPL Broadcasters ?
The IPL Broadcasters Star India themselves have admitted that the market is not ready to support the IPL 2020.
Uday Shankar, President of the Walt Disney Company, APAC and Chairman, Star & Disney declared few days back that the market is not ready to support the IPL 2020 with the same fervor and gusto in the current economic environment. Shankar during the ocassion declared that he doubts if the market would recover in next 6-8 weeks to put thousand of crores of advertising on this season of IPL.
“If it is one tournament where advertisers will put money, that is IPL but only if they have to put monies. The market has gone through massive shock. Whether it would recover enough to put thousand of crores worth of advertising in next 6-8 weeks is the real issue and we doubt that”, said the Star & Disney India Chairman.
IPL is an expensive tournament. We have paid huge monies to acquire the rights. For it to breakeven for us, for the other stakeholders the advertising activity needs to be really substantial. Given the kind of economic shock we have seen during these times, I am not sure if market is ready to support and sustain IPL 2020’, declared Uday.