Vivo’s IPL sponsorship: a shot in the dark or a thoughtful investment?

The Indian Premier League, given all the gravitas surrounding it, has a sponsor from China which happens to be a smartphone company. If we look at it, this is the second time that the company has sponsored the IPL as a title sponsor and it is because it has benefitted from its first outing.

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Vivo’s IPL sponsorship: a shot in the dark or a thoughtful investment?

Indian Premier League is the biggest cricketing league in the world. Here the best of the best players come and play for separate franchises as it is watched in more than 100 countries across the globe. IPL is like a festival in the country. There are tens of thousands of people coming and watching their favorite players take center stage for two straight months. It is the biggest event in the year along with some national tournaments.

That being said, the IPL is something which can be compared with the English Premier League, the world’s most-watched Football league. However, the money and the numbers might not reach the level of EPL because of a weaker currency but in terms of people watching, it is one of the biggest. As sporting as this event might be, commercialization is a big part of this event. There are sponsors paying millions of dollars for the same. The reach and the effect of this tournament is impeccable and no public event can really match it in all of Asia.

The Indian Premier League, given all the gravitas surrounding it, has a sponsor from China which happens to be a smartphone company. If we look at it, this is the second time that the company has sponsored the IPL as a title sponsor and it is because it has benefitted from its first outing. Vivo is the company which has invested around INR 2199 Cr around $320 million to become the title sponsor of the league. The league is now officially called as the Vivo IPL and everybody in the entire country is saying its name.

However, many of the experts believe that the investment was led by misinformation and was overpriced. Even though the company is reaching almost every mouth across the length and the breadth of the country, the investment might only work if Vivo has something more to offer the Indian people other than smartphones.

As opposed to that, there is another way Vivo is looking at this. The fact that Vivo sells most of its phones in rural areas and IPL gets most of its viewership from the same areas. This is where Vivo thinks that it can gain a lot of attention. The fact that Indian rural areas have more TVs and more eyes with Vivo’s target audience being the same is the reason for Vivo’s outrageous investment.

That being said, Oppo has also sponsored the Indian team with a lot of money being invested as well. However, Oppo also tried to be the title sponsor of the IPL but failed. Oppo bid around INR 1,400 Cr while Vivo was way ahead of the same. The Chinese subsidiaries of BBK Electronics were fighting each other for the same event.

There are many analysts who think that Vivo has overpriced the sponsorship but if you look at it closely, the brand name that is attached to the biggest sporting event in India will reach more homes faster and better than any of the brands. Also, the viewership is international along with deeper national roots. These roots are Vivo’s stronghold. That is the reason Vivo might just have hit the right spot in India.

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Vivo’s IPL sponsorship: a shot in the dark or a thoughtful investment?
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The Indian Premier League, given all the gravitas surrounding it, has a sponsor from China which happens to be a smartphone company. If we look at it, this is the second time that the company has sponsored the IPL as a title sponsor and it is because it has benefitted from its first outing.
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The Policy Times