The 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League is all set to kick off on 26 March. This year’s tournament, which will be played across Maharashtra in the first stage, has seen two new franchises added to the league – the Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, making the total number of teams 10.
With the addition of these teams, and a new auction for the players, not only has the action on the cricket field heated up, the sponsorship race too has hit a sixer.
We caught up with the brands that are spending money to partner with the teams to understand what made them pick the team.
Is it the geography that helps them reach out to their TG? Or the brand philosophy that matches with the team’s ethos?
Or, is it that the brand just wants to be part of the IPL, without really caring about which team it's partnering?
Read what 15 partners to the 10 teams had to say:
CSK and TVS Eurogrip - The values of the team match the brand
P Madhavan, executive vice president, sales and marketing, TVS Eurogrip
Once we decided on IPL, there were several options we evaluated on how we could associate – central sponsorships, team jersey sponsorships and other associations. Amongst the teams that were available to partner with, we saw the best synergies with CSK. TVS Eurogrip is all about high performance, quality tyres; tyre technology that makes the rider the most confident one on the road. CSK is one of the most consistently performing teams in the IPL and some of their brand values like fire in the belly and their unwavering focus on the sport sat very well with our brand values and positioning (of being the bike tyre specialist). Targeting millennial riders is our core objective, we saw this partnership helping in that aspect too as CSK is the strongest franchise on digital medium with the largest and most engaged fan following. The ride ahead is going to be an exciting one for both partners. This is a high impact partnership, as big as it gets within the IPL opportunities. We are in a growth phase and with the champions by our side, we are looking to catapult our brand recall, salience and hence business to the next level.
Delhi Capitals and Royal Stag – The values of the team match the brand
Kartik Mohindra, CMO, Pernod Ricard
I think each team brings something special to the table. All of them have a unique identity and unique values. As far as Royal Stag is concerned, we partnered with Delhi Capitals because their philosophy and their approach to cricket are very close to our brand philosophy. If you look at Delhi Capitals players, they play cricket with a lot of positive attitudes, panache and self-belief and these are the values youth of today resonates with and these are exactly the values we work very closely with. I think Delhi Capital embodies the spirit of the game in the finest possible way and therefore it is the most appropriate choice for us.
Gujarat Titans and Ather Energy – A startup pairing with a debutant
Ravneet Singh Phokela, chief business officer, Ather Energy
We are thrilled to partner with the Gujarat Titans team, who will make their debut in IPL in the upcoming season. Being relative newcomers in our respective fields, what binds us are shared values of fearlessness and positivity, and a hunger to make a difference in our highly competitive environments. Ather is rapidly expanding across the country, with a presence in 24 cities and expected to be across more than 100 cities over the next 12 months. The scale and reach of IPL provide a great platform for us to rapidly drive awareness and familiarity for the brand across the country, as we expand our geographic footprint. But beyond just reach numbers, the IPL has the unique advantage of being a sporting event whose appeal cuts across age and gender boundaries, engaging the entire household. This allows us to introduce our scooters to a larger audience and accelerate the adoption of EVs across the country.
KKR and Joy Personal Care – Geography matches
Poulomi Roy, CMO, RSH Global
Just like KKR, Joy Personal Care also has Kolkata as its home ground, and what better way to strengthen our market position, visibility and brand recall than an association with cricket, a religion for many. The KKR team is very dear to the people of Kolkata and has been a household name right from the start. With this partnership, we aim to reach audiences beyond ours. KKR, just like Joy is a Kolkata based brand with a pan-India relevance. This partnership is in alignment with our brand purpose of providing provide quality products in an affordable range and will convey the brand’s key messaging of ‘breaking the stereotypes’. Our alliance with KKR is also ground-breaking since a feminine skincare brand is coming together with a largely male-dominated game. This will not only enhance the brand’s visibility but will also formulate a unique way to turn the tables and call forth a change that helps us get a step closer to our goal.
KKR and WinZO – Similar passions, geography matches
Saumya Singh Rathore, co-founder, WinZO
WinZO’s partnership with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is an organic one given WinZO’s passion for the ‘sporting and gaming’ culture in India. The 1.4 billion Indian population is zealous about cricket of which over half a billion sporting enthusiasts are cricket viewers in the country. The deep-rooted affinity for the sport of cricket combined with heightened interest in mobile gaming in India is a prospect that WinZO is well-positioned to capture. To add to that, Kolkata has always been a sporting powerhouse in India. The passion for sport that people in the region exhibit is mirrored by very few regions in the country. The company through this partnership is reiterating its commitment to support sports, sporting talent and the overall Indian gaming ecosystem. WinZO’s ability to leverage its vernacular strength spread across users across the game formats it offers is a synergy that complements IPL’s wide-ranging followership aptly as well as the passion and patronage for sports in Kolkata.
With an increasing trend of mobile gaming reaching the deepest parts of the country, the sector is set to take over the entertainment industry. In a country such as India where billions of people follow cricket and given it is also home to 300 million gamers, it is inevitable for this industry to grow rapidly. The combination of WinZO’s mass appeal and market leadership and KKR’s talented team and humongous fan following demonstrates the shared spirit of sportsmanship and winning in conjunction with our ideology that appeals to the masses cutting across age and gender.
WinZO as a young brand can well coordinate and sync with the KKR’s winning mindset in a very natural manner.
Lucknow Super Giants and Credenc.com – Values of the team match the brand
Mayank Batheja, co-founder, Credenc.com
Credenc.com embarked on this exciting journey of partnering with Lucknow Super Giants in the 15th season of IPL based on the shared belief of banking on nothing but one’s potential and perseverance towards excellence. The reach of IPL in creating brand awareness is immense and we are sure that the recognition and reputation of Credenc.com will only go onwards and upwards with this collaboration. There is a strong correlation between education and cricket, both teach life lessons such as self-belief, discipline, and persistence towards your goals. This resonates with the narrative we are pitching to our TG: students. The Indian Premier League is synonymous with excellence and Credenc.com represents that quality through its education loan offerings. Another reason that makes this tie-up extra special is that Lucknow happens to be my hometown, so you can say that I would be rooting for the success of the Lucknow team for both business and personal reasons.
Lucknow Super Giants and Sunstone Eduversity – A startup pairing a debutant
Alekhya Chakrabarty, head of marketing, Sunstone Eduversity
As new entrants in our respective fields, we both share a similar vision and intense energy. At Sunstone Eduversity, we believe in bridging the gap between industry and academia with a focus on the Hindi speaking youth. Hence, Lucknow the city of nawabs is our obvious choice and an IPL team that is new, young and eager for making their mark is our natural choice of partner.
Lucknow Super Giants and Greenply Industries - Geography matches
Sanidhya Mittal, Joint Managing Director, Greenply Industries
We have joined hands with Lucknow Super Giants as associate partner of the franchise. Uttar Pradesh being the second largest plywood market by value, the association will help Greenply to enhance its brand and business presence across the state and nationally. Uttar Pradesh is a very vital market for us, and we hope this association creates a positive impact amongst our target audience.
We see that both Greenply and Lucknow Super Giants shares common synergies including a strong determination to perform and exceed expectations of their respective audience. Greenply, which is known for driving innovation and offer superior products, this association will enable the brand to engage with the global audience and infuse the brand ethos amongst them.
Mumbai Indians and Bombay Shaving Company - Name matches, team generated national interest
Deepak Gupta, COO, Bombay Shaving Company
After successfully participating in the recently concluded India vs Sri Lanka series, we were on the look out to enter cricket in a big way. There was and is no bigger stage than the IPL to announce our interest in cricket as a key enabler for the brand and business to be accessible to those two crore core consumers - the critical number of household we intend to reach in the coming quarters.
Mumbai Indians ticked all the right boxes for us, both from a brand and business perspective. That's why it wasn't a tough call for us to associate with MI as 'official grooming partners' in this year's edition of the T20 extravaganza. Beyond the obvious similarities in name, 'Mumbai Indians' enjoys both - a strong local following and generates solid interest nationally - with a diverse bunch of local, national and international superstars. Likewise, while we (Bombay Shaving Company) have strategic interests to grow our share of market to 15% in Maharashtra in the grooming category; as a brand and portfolio we resonate with people across the country, pretty much equally. Over the next two months, we intend to grow our store presence to 20,000 stores in Maharashtra alone. We will introduce special edition products with exciting merchandise for customers and partners. We will be making a huge 'blue splash' across touch points with a strong 360 marketing campaign with a player first and activation oriented approach. For a digital first brand like us, shaping into an FMCG 2 brand, this mix of digital strength plus pan India resonance is the sweet spot. We are very proud of this association and look forward to a very successful tournament, and year.
Mumbai Indians and Marriott Bonvoy – Common goal of creating the best fan experiences
Khushnooma Kapadia, senior area director, Marketing – South Asia, Marriott International
Marriott Bonvoy has been associated with Mumbai Indians as their loyalty partner in a multi-year association, this will be our third year of this partnership. With this association, we are able to offer to our Marriott Bonvoy members exclusive money can’t buy experiences with their favourite Mumbai Indians team. In the last two years, we have seen a great synergy coming through this association. We have been able to curate some engaging and unique experiences for our guests through our Marriott Bonvoy moments. This year, on offer are match tickets, attending an exclusive gala dinner with the players, an in-person masterclass with Mumbai Indian coaches, a chance to interact with team players virtually, and a chance to gift a customised video wish from the Mumbai Indians team. Our members can redeem their points and avail of these experiences and more. Our partnership is a testament to our common goal of creating the best fan experiences. This year as the team and fans return to the stadium, we are eagerly looking forward to collectively creating some memorable experiences and leaving our fans and members with a season they will always remember.
Punjab Kings and Lotus Herbals - The values of the team match the brand
Nitin Passi, chairman and managing director, Lotus Herbals
We are thrilled to be a part of one of the most significant cricketing events in the nation and associated with Punjab Kings. Punjab Kings have consistently exhibited exceptional resilience, perseverance, hard work and commitment. The team is packed with experienced players and young blood that resonate well with the Indian Cricket Fans as well as our brand. We are sure the team will put up a brilliant performance in the upcoming IPL season and entertain the fans.
Rajasthan Royals and Meesho - Aiming to expand audience by entering cricket
Lucky Saini, VP and head of brand, Meesho
We are excited to have partnered with Rajasthan Royals – a key franchise of India’s biggest T20 league. Being a veteran and one of the early champions, the team has demonstrated a notable trajectory through all the seasons. As the lead trouser branding partner, it has been a great opportunity for Meesho to associate with supremely talented players in the cricket fraternity. Sports is a great way to connect with our audience and the massive fan following base of Rajasthan Royals is expected to add a fillip to our continued efforts of driving greater brand awareness.
The scale, reach, and popularity of the T20 league coupled with the prominence of Rajasthan Royals will play an integral role in creating the right visibility and traction for Meesho. As part of the growth strategy, the collaboration not only marks Meesho’s cricket debut but also the various unique ways of tapping into a wider and newer base of customers.
Rajasthan Royals and One Moto - Eco-friendly brand partnering an eco-friendly team
Muzammil Riyaz, partner and promoter, One Moto India
One Moto is a premium EV brand, and thus the brand’s persona falls in sync with that of the franchisee - Rajasthan Royals. Additionally, the team has always presented the idea of eco-friendly conduct promoting jerseys made of sustainable materials. Hence, on that facet we share the same messaging and ambition. Furthermore, at a personal level I myself have played professional cricket too. One Moto as a brand feels that Rajasthan Royals have the required strength and strategy to make a mark in the league this season.
Royal Challengers Bangalore and RedCliffe – The values of the team match the brand
Dheeraj Jain, founder, Redcliffe Labs
Royal Challengers Bangalore is a perfect fit as it is a team with the best cricket talent.
The partnership truly is in line with a common belief that underlines the importance of health and wellness in the qualitative benchmarks of performance both on and off-field.
Also, Redcliffe truly understands the importance of diagnosis and how it is linked to overall health and well-being.
Additionally, this new relationship also showcases our endeavour of how we are delivering on our vision to empower better health through diagnostic insights.
Sunrisers Hyderabad and Cars 24 – The values of the team match the brand
Sudhir Shukla, CMO India, Cars24
The Indian Premier League is one of the biggest franchises of cricket we have ever witnessed in the sporting world. It garners immense engagement among the audience and has a great mix of the audience watching it. From a marketing mix perspective and the audience’s love for cricket; we are happy to be a part of it via an esteemed franchise like Sunrisers Hyderabad who has established themselves as contenders in the league year on year. Sunrisers Hyderabad already played five playoffs in the last six seasons making it one of the most consistent teams. While there has been a constant match in the synergies of both the brands, both of us also focus on dependability and a flair of innovation in our work. We are on a road to building a global brand and using technology to disrupt the used-card industry by strategically partnering with SRH which seems like a natural fit to capture a wider audience.