PepsiCo India is yet to take a formal stand on whether it will continue its five-year association with the tainted Indian Premier League (IPL)
after paying a whopping Rs 396 crore for the title sponsorship.
The larger question, however, is: can Pepsi really afford to spend more than half its annual advertising money just on the IPL?
Arch rival Coca-Cola India seems to have out-smarted PepsiCo in the IPL
, by merely buying 10-second advertising spots during the tournament and partnering with a few of the IPL teams as their official beverage partner. SPECIAL:Mahendra Singh Dhoni - The god of big deals
Pepsi may be the official drink of the IPL, but if you happened to watch a match at Wankhede Stadium*, the only beverage brand you would have seen was Coca-Cola because it is the official beverage partner of the Mumbai Indians.
Moreover, Coca-Cola cut the price of its 200 ml bottles to Rs 8 during the IPL so consumers got a bottle of Coke cheaper than Pepsi.
Latest market share figures
show that Coca-Cola definitely has an edge. But those who think that Brand Coke has overtaken Brand Pepsi are mistaken.
Coca-Cola India's higher market share is largely because of the popularity of other brands such as Thums Up and Sprite. However, Brand Coca-Cola still has some catching up to do.
*An earlier version of this story had incorrectly mentioned that the Chepauk Stadium, too, carried only Coca-Cola branding. The error is regretted.