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IPL 2020: Why startups are making a beeline for the world’s richest cricket league

Dream11 IPL 2020

Dream11 IPL 2020: Indian Premier League is visibility and user growth engine for startups in India. The game has historically been an excellent platform for companies to associate with consumers as cricket’s popularity and reach across a billion-plus people is second to none. Hence when the IPL first launched in 2008, it had been considered a sponsors’ paradise.

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IPL has offered instant and large-scale visibility to brands. Brands, in turn, have invested a huge amount of money in sponsorships, either in the league itself or in individual franchises. As a result, the league’s valuation skyrocketed from $3.2 billion in 2014 to $6.8 billion in 2019. The IPL is worth ₹47,500 crores, with its brand value appreciating 13.5 percent in the last edition of the tournament. Come 2020, things have changed dramatically.

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The world’s richest cricket league hit a roadblock with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Dream11 IPL 2020, which was earlier scheduled to start on March 29, was pushed towards uncertainty. Several stakeholders expressed their concern over its viability at a time when sports in general was severely affected.
Things started looking up when BCCI moved Dream11 IPL 2020 out of India to the UAE. This is only the third time the league will be held outside India. But despite the ray of hope, BCCI continued to be cautious.

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Dream11 IPL 2020 might not have drawn the standard amount in ad money, but homegrown startups have stepped in to fill the void left by legacy advertisers FMCG and BFSI, which are the most important spenders in cricket.

Just a month before the tournament’s commencement on September 19, BCCI roped in Dream11 as the title sponsor after being its digital sponsors in 2019. Dream11 paid ₹222 crores for the title sponsorship, which is far from what IPL typically draws. The event’s earlier title sponsor VIVO, which was paying ₹440 crores per season, had to drop out due to India’s rising tensions with China. Interestingly, edtech decacorn BYJU’S had also bid for the title sponsorship, offering ₹201 crores. Others including MakeMyTrip, Myntra, boAt, Paytm Insider, Fancode, PhonePe, Khatabook, Swiggy, and Amazon have invested in teams helping them earn ₹10 crores to ₹15 crores in sponsorships.

 

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