Uncertainty over Indian Premier League (IPL) due to coronavirus outbreak could impact sponsors' investment worth Rs 1,200 crore, according to a report.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has suspended the upcoming season of T-20 cricket tournament till April 15 as cases of COVID-19 spiked in India. The league was originally supposed to take place between March 29 and May 24.
State governments across the country have banned gatherings to check the spread of coronavirus. The BCCI is planning to hold matches in empty stadiums and at fewer venues to reduce the risk of infection among players, audiences and others. In view of this, advertisers could recalibrate their sponsorship deals.
"While it's a wait and watch and uncertainty over the IPL, on-ground sponsorship may be impacted and sponsorship deals of brands which have picked up ground and team sponsorship may have to be recalibrated, if BCCI is contemplating conducting matches without audiences and at fewer venues," Ashish Bhasin, chief executive, APAC and chairman India - Dentsu Aegis Network told The Economic Times
The sponsorship money in question includes Rs 600 crore in on-ground and Rs 500 crore in team sponsorships, the report said. Sponsors who have invested heavily in IPL 2020 include Coca Cola, Amazon, Vivo and PhonePe. Vivo, the title sponsor of the tournament, had paid Rs 2,199 crore to win the rights for five years. Other on-ground sponsors including Tata Motors, fbb and Dream11 were supposed to pay Rs 40 crore each. Umpire partner Paytm had to pay Rs 28 crore, whereas strategic time-out partner Ceat is paying Rs 26 crore for this IPL season.
A BCCI insider told the daily that the board is constantly in touch with the advertisers and a new strategy might be put in place.
"While it is too early to gauge the exact impact, if matches are played without audiences, then team and ground sponsors while being visible for television audiences , may lose some impact because of the lack of engagement with in-stadium audiences," chief executive of IPG MediaBrands Shashi Sinha, the media buying agency which represents Coca-Cola and Amazon, told The Economic Times.