It is not surprising that cricket is one of the most beloved games not only in India but, across the globe. Indian brands utilise this opportunity to connect with audiences. It is an effective way of promoting Indian brands and attracting people. T20 World Cup is one of the most popular events in cricket. Fans are overexcited to cheer for the men in blue. The tournament begins with a breeze of enthusiasm. The fans gear up with merchandise and their other favourites to chrish the game on their screens or at the venue of the event. It is more like a festival of sorts, where families and friends reunite to enjoy the game together. Even the brands go overboard by investing in the sport to match the level of passionate fans and audience.
The grave consequences of failure of Team India
Everything seems unfair and unsettled after the team with great hopes tastes the dust of defeat. It is extremely heartbreaking for not only the team but for the investors, advertisers, brands, sponsors. The consumers to discover the unfortunate loss of men in blue during the T20 World Cup. It only takes one rotten potato to spoil the others and this time, our country lost twice. The India Pakistan match had a massive impact on the consumers’ sentiment and on Sunday, India suffered a successive loss after they were hammered by New Zealand. This disheartened the consumers and they lost their will to work on Monday.
The vanquished hopes of Indian brands
India’s defeat has intensely impacted consumer sentiment. It will further affect brand performance and viewership for the remaining World Cup tournament this year. Ambika Sharma, Founder and MD, Pulp Strategy said.
“Match viewership will decline and by some estimates, it may go down by 50% or more as a fall out of India’s exit from the World Cup. ICC having anticipated the disappointment of fans has already decided to allow full refunds, fans are relieved I’m sure. Advertisers, on the other hand, will see a drop in viewership for the next set of matches. However, towards the flag end of the World Cup, most advertisers would have received their visibility via the spots in the matches up to the point of India’s exit. The media team may have some difficulty in selling the last-minute inventory which goes at a premium.”
The Optimistic View
On the other hand, Mohit Joshi, CEO, Havas Media Group India is confident that the interest levels won’t dip. He said,
“India is a cricket-loving nation. It has a huge fan following for the sport and the legends of the cricketing world. While there are sentiments with team India involved and the loss is a huge disappointment. There are bigger sentiments associated with the game, and as a nation, we’ve always appreciated good cricket and good talent. As we move towards the semis and the finals, we expect to see great cricket. Therefore I don’t see the interest levels going down and the love for the game should keep the viewership ticking.”
Vikram Sakhuja, Partner & Group CEO, Madison Media & OOH said,
“With cricket being a national passion, the fallout is that fans swing in extremes. India’s wins leads to high ratings, and losses to poor ratings. In the 2016 T20 WC the super 12s (with 5 India games) had rated 4.4 amongst males audiences. This time round I won’t be surprised if India’s poor performance in the crunch games leads to a tournament average of sub 3 ratings. For Advertisers who pay top dollar to advertise on this platform it will be a reasonable setback. However if India does manage a top 2 position, the interest and ratings will spike. So fans and advertisers need to pray for New Zealand getting upset by the lesser ranked teams, and India dominating over these same teams.”
The dreadful impact on branding and advertisements
These recurrent defeats of team India will have an adverse impact for brands. Many brands have invested millions of dollars on advertising. The viewership might also decrease without the presence of men in blue. It will thereby affect the brands and sponsors. This time, the T20 World Cup was aligned with the festive season and brands were extra generous to spend on TV and OTT platforms during this time of the year. According to media reports, broadcaster Star Sports sold inventory worth more than Rs 1,000 crore this year. It has onboarded Byju’s, Dream 11, Coca Cola, Vimal, PhonePe, Havells, Netmeds, CoinDCX, JioMart, Skoda, Mondelez, Reliance Trends, Pernod, Upstox, Samsung and Cred as key sponsors. On its streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar, Dream11, Vimal Elaichi, Coin Switch, Oppo, Swiggy, Maruti, AMFI, PhonePe, Mondelez and Upstox have invested this season.
However, this time, the Twitterati is too disappointed. #BoycottIPL was trending on Twitter. Fans alleged that the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has commercialized cricket and is prioritizing the IPL over an International League. Nothing more could have been worse for the Indian team and the brands this year.