Home > News >

Marketers believe BCCI’s efforts for IPL 2014 can fight off the ghosts of last edition

S Sreesanth (left) cricket career ended due to his involvement in the spot-fixing controversy during the last edition of the Indian Premier League © PTI
The BCCI is apparently ensuring all the necessary steps are taken to help players ward off bookies more effectively © PTI

Jan 28, 2014

The Indian Premier League (IPL), surrounded by controversies of match fixing and money laundering in its previous edition, is expected to get underway in April 2014 for the seventh season. The IPL faces a litmus test of obliterating all traces of corruption from its sleeves going into the seventh edition.

As is widely known, three players of the Rajasthan RoyalsS Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan — were found to be indulging in spot fixing with the bookies last year. The investigation also revealed that owner of the team, Raj Kundra, was also allegedly involved in betting. Apart from this, Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Chief N Srinivasan and CEO of Chennai Super Kings was also allegedly involved in betting. Still the board reportedly made profits worth Rs 385 crore from IPL 6.

This year, BCCI has appointed ‘integrity officers’ to each team to prevent any unwanted events like spot fixing. Apart from this, the Board has also decided to educate players in local languages on how bookies operate to help them eliminate any fixing possibilities. Will the marketers associated with the sport respond positively and will the move transform into more marketers getting associated with the tournament on and off the screen?

‘Fixing free’ tournament

Almost all marketers have welcomed the efforts taken by the BCCI to make the game more transparent. Analysts feel that this will enhance trust among the sponsors. They also observe that the players playing in the tournament are from domestic level and they might not be aware of the bookie cluster. Therefore, creating awareness among them is a healthy initiative. In parallel, as far as the brand image is concerned, marketers feel that the fixing allegations are on individuals and some team owners and, therefore, it is unlikely the brand ‘IPL’ would take a hit as cricket is anyways followed in India. But marketers are keen that the event for the sake of viewership should be ‘fixing free’.

Indra Nooyi, Global Chief, PepsiCo had recently spoken at the WEF in Davos that the company wants to be associated with a sport without controversy. Pepsi is the presenting sponsor of the IPL till 2017, and has committed almost Rs 400 crore for the event. Reportedly, there was huge pressure from the corporate giant to make the event transparent and free of controversies.

Marketers have shared mixed responses over the development and responses have varied from brand to brand. Most of them want to wait and watch before they finally display their choices of participation in the tournament.

“Consumer product is different from a management product. Cricket is a huge sport in India and IPL is a good platform to market. As far as controversies and our participation are concerned it would depend on the nature of the controversy. If subsequent affects are felt then we will take a decision accordingly. But for a brand like ours consumer attention matters a lot,” said Shireesh Joshi, COO, Strategic Marketing Group, Godrej to exchange4media.

Senior observers have said that although cynicism regarding the tournament will prevail but brands would continue to invest in case mass marketing is the objective.

Chandroo Kalroo, CMO, TTK Prestige mentioned, “Fatigue is creeping within the tournament. The viewership though rises towards the end of the tournament; the association of a brand primarily depends upon the relevance and context of advertising. I don’t think that allegations of spot fixing will dent marketing. Everything is not fixed and viewers know that. Spot fixing allegations will therefore not make them (sponsors) go away, unless viewers stop watching it. Marketers do not buy property, they buy eyeballs.”

On the other hand, there are also some marketers who feel that dignity of the tournament matters a lot. Brands getting associated with a team would go for extra scrutiny. In that case, Rajasthan Royals might have to try a little harder. Recent reports of Lalit Modi winning RCA elections and in that case BCCI imposing a ban on the board has driven a new pulse of controversies. Marketers are vocal of the fact that fixing of matches affects the viewership to a great extent which in turn also affects sponsorships.

Sanjay Tripathi, Senior EVP-Marketing, HDFC Life Insurance said, “Nobody would like to be cheated. IPL is watched because the teams playing are of equal strengths and therefore result is unpredictable. If the match is fixed, forget a marketer even the viewer would not watch it. I will keep a policy of wait and watch over the initiatives taken by the BCCI. If viewership is robust and the matches transparent then we may go ahead with our participation.”

Sandipan Ghosh, CMO, Ruchi Soya industries said, “If there is no integrity people will not watch IPL anyways. Like in the case of WWE, TVRs started coming down once people came to know that it was staged. If there are no people, brands would anyways not sponsor it. Therefore, steps taken by BCCI to make the tournament transparent are welcome, but association of brands would depend upon the results which come out.”

For some brands, IPL would not matter at all, citing high costs and irrelevant context. They would, therefore, not be associated with the brand citing their past experiences. For some brands, the association with IPL (or its broadcaster Set Max) has not been very fruitful and hence, they might not continue with the brand in the future. One amongst them is Nissan Motors.

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: Long live the King

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: The last great pace bowling all-rounder

India vs England Live Cricket Score 3rd Test Day 4 at Southampton: Hosts in command

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 Ian Bell India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

James Anderson in fresh controversy during India-England 3rd Test at Southampton?

India vs England 2014, Day 4 of 3rd Test at Southampton: Defeat stares as Indians continue to find ways of getting out

Alex Doolan looking forward to first Indian tour

India gasping at 112 for 4 against England at Stumps on Day 4 of 3rd Test at Southampton

Pankaj Singh records most expensive match figures by Test debutant without taking a wicket

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: India’s lacklustre performance, Moeen Ali’s rise as a spinner and other highlights of play on Day 4

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: A symbol of genius encompassing almost two decades

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: Long live the King

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: How the legend began

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: The last great pace bowling all-rounder

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Will Nawazuddin Siddiqui throw a success bash for Salman Khan’s Kick?

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Do Xiaomi smartphones covertly spy on its users?

Ajay Devgn gets 2500 cops shirtless in Singham Returns!

Connected devices have huge security holes: Study

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here