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IPL’s revenue from off stadium promotions likely to get hit amid Covid curbs

Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts from tomorrow (April 9), likely to see significant decline in its out-of-home revenues as brands are pulling out of co-promotions and off stadium marketing activities they had inked with bars, clubs and restaurants for live screenings of matches amid the second wave of Covid-19, the Economic Times mentioned in a report citing industry executives.

Although IPL’s broadcasting rights are with Star Sports, the league also derives a chunk of its revenues from out-of-home viewership for which brands had forged tie-ups.

“With no out-of-home gatherings amid curfews in large markets, consumption linked to out-of-home gatherings during the IPL matches will be impacted,” the business daily quoted Shashi Sinha, chief executive of IPG Mediabrands that represents Coca-Cola and Amazon as saying. Advertisers on air, though, have bought almost the entire inventories in expectation of television viewership increasing significantly, he said.

This year IPL starting at a time when the number of daily Covid-19 cases has surpassed the 1 lakh mark, forcing local authorities to impose curbs on movements and social gatherings.

“Viewership of out-of-home home gatherings will certainly be impacted with the closure of restaurants, bars and malls. Brands which had been planning co-promotions and off-stadium marketing activities with bars, clubs and restaurants for live screenings of matches will obviously be impacted,” the publication quoted Ashish Bhasin, chief executive-APAC and chairman of Dentsu India as saying. Dentsu India represents Maruti, Mastercard and Microsoft, among others.

Brands, though, are advertising as before, with most of the inventory at Star sold out, he said.Apart from no live audiences and brand visibility on stadiums, events like meet-and-greet between fans and cricketers and ground-level foods and beverages partnerships, too, have been impacted with the new lockdowns and curfews.

“The IPL will be a write-off this year, as far as brand-related dine-in associations are concerned,” said Zorawar Kalra, managing director at Massive Restaurants which operates Farzi Cafe, Masala Library, Swan and Made In Punjab among others.

Apart from Maharashtra, Delhi and Chandigarh too have imposed night curfews. “The curfew in Delhi will not only curtail dine-in hours but will also affect home delivery operations, which form a considerable chunk of restaurants’ revenue,” the ET report quoted Kabir Suri, vice-president of the National Restaurant Association of India as saying.

Various teams have reported players testing Covid positive, while ground-staff and the event management team too have been reporting positive cases, leading to steep concerns among the cricket board and Star about how the tournament will play out, an executive at the cricket board said. Times Now News

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