Star & Disney sells 95% of IPL advertising inventory ahead of phase II

SEP 03, 2021

Star & Disney India has sold almost 95% of the advertising inventory of the remaining 31 matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 to be held in the UAE from September 17, with most of the original advertisers staying on board.

The broadcaster has signed 15 sponsors for Star Sports Network and 12 for its OTT platform Disney+Hotstar.

Initially, Star had sold the entire inventory for the popular twenty20 tournament that started in India in April but was suspended mid-way in May amid the severe second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The broadcaster had then informed all advertisers that they will get the first right to continue with ad deals if and when the tournament resumes.

ET has learned that most of the sponsors, except six, have decided to continue in the phase 2 of the league. They include Dream 11, Byju's, Phone Pe, Coca Cola, Amazon, AMFI, Asian Paints, Cred, ITC Foods, Kamala Pasand, Mondelez and Upstox.

Those that did not renew sponsorship deals include Just Dial, Vodafone-Idea, Frooti, Garnier Men, Groww and Havells.

Star has also brought on board some new sponsors, including Jio, L’Oréal and Ajio, for the remaining matches.

“We signed new advertisers for whom festive months are a prime season like, for example, fashion, ecommerce, financial services, consumer durables, neo banking, jewellery, and four-wheelers in auto,” a company insider told ET. “Brands from categories relevant for summers such as ACs and Fans have opted out.”

For Disney+Hotstar, the company has signed Dream11, Vimal Elaichi, Upstox, Livspace, UB (Kingfisher Packaged Drinking Water), Unacademy, AMFI, Phone Pe, Swiggy, Amazon, Volkswagen and Fresh2Home.

Originally, Star was expected to cross Rs 3,200 crore in advertising revenue in this year’s edition of IPL.

The company is now hopeful of doing better.

“We are confident that phase 2 of IPL 2021 will better the outstanding performance of phase 1,” said Nitin Bawankule, head – sales at Star & Disney India. “IPL has consistently established itself as the biggest marketing platform” and the second phase presents a “significant opportunity” for brands as it is shorter and converges with the festive period, he said.

The viewership data for the first 26 matches showed that the cumulative reach of the tournament exceeded that of last year. As per BARC data, the reach of the first 26 matches in IPL 2021 was 352 million, against 349 million for IPL 2020.

Cumulative reach is the total number of individuals who viewed an event or match for at least one minute.

The 2020 season of the league was entirely played in the UAE due to the pandemic in India.