The online gaming industry has been in its purple patch ever since the evolution of the internet. And winning rewards in the form of money through gaming is the cherry on top! These are nothing but real money games where you use your money (Yes the one in your pocket!) to play the game and to win money. Sounds interesting. Right? Not just worldwide, but real money games have gained immense popularity in India too. Why? Of course due to the access to smartphones and the internet at affordable cost. This popularity is high among the younger population.
The connection between IPL and real money game marketing
Now coming to the point where real money games have become a common talk among folks with the ongoing IPL. What is the connection between IPL and real money games? It is the MARKETING! As you can see, real money games are highly competitive. That’s the reason why marketing is crucial for such games to attract and retain players.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most anticipated sports event in India. Both women’s IPL and men’s IPL are crucial advertising platforms for brands. It has a massive audience from all over the country. So, it is a prime platform for companies to promote their real-money gaming apps or services.
The Growing Market of Real Money Games
Let’s have a brief overview of the real money gaming industry. The real money gaming industry in India is growing at an unprecedented rate. Do you know how much revenue it earns? By 2022, it generated over $1.5 billion. The revenues are estimated to reach over $5 billion by 2025. It includes a range of games. Some of the major ones are-
- Fantasy sports
Key players in the market
Some of the major players in the Indian real money gaming market in 2023 are-
|Names of the Real Money Games||Types of virtual games present|
|Dream 11||Cricket, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Kabaddi, Hockey, Volleyball, Handball, and other esports.|
|Mobile Premier League (MPL)||Fantasy sports, Card Games, Casual Games, etc.|
|Striker||Multi-player fantasy cricket game|
|Winzo||Fruit Samurai, Pool, Ludo, Chess, Fantasy Cricket, Bubble Shooter.|
|Jungle Rummy||Points Rummy, Deals Rummy, Pool Rummy|
|Paytm First Games||Fantasy sports, poker games, ludo, cricket, football, kabaddi|
|Ludo Empire||Classic Ludo and Quick ludo.|
Factors driving the growth of real money games
Some of the major factors that are deriving the growth of real money games are-
- Easy access to smartphones
- Affordable Internet data plans
- Rising disposable incomes
- Lack of alternative money-earning entertainment platforms
- Massive gaming audience in India
- Availability of traditional games online
- No need for physical platforms like playgrounds or sports equipment
- Availability of skill-based games
Real Money Games Marketing Strategies in IPL 2023
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in India that has gained tremendous popularity over the years. IPL marketing has proven to be an effective strategy for promoting real money games in India. Gaming companies leverage the popularity of the event to attract new users. The real money games marketing strategies include-
- IPL marketing
- Sponsorships & Partnerships
- In-stadium Branding and Promotions
- TV and digital ad campaigns
The impact of IPL marketing on real money games is considerably high due to the following factors-
1. Large Audience: Although cricket is not our national game it is the most popular game in our country. So by default, it has a large audience and influencing capacity. Therefore, the IPL becomes a crucial platform to advertise real money games.
2. Rising interest in virtual cricket and betting: The culture of betting was prevalent since the earlier days of cricket. However, the change of fact is the conversion of physical bets into virtual forms. Eventually, the popularity of the IPL has led to an increase in the number of people interested in cricket betting. This, in turn, has led to an increase in the number of real money gaming platforms offering cricket betting options.
3. Introduction of alluring offers, prizes, and discounts: Real-money gaming platforms may introduce new games and promotions centered on the IPL to attract customers. For example, some platforms may offer special bonuses or promotions when you bet during IPL matches.
4. Boosted revenue: As discussed above, real money games earned a whopping revenue of $1.5 billion. This economic impact can indirectly benefit real money gaming platforms by increasing overall consumer spending. Also, the government also earns a good amount of money by taxing gaming companies.
Sponsorships and partnerships
Do you know, IPL has partnerships with gaming companies along with CRED, Upstox, RuPay, Swiggy Insamart, etc.? Real-money gaming platforms are increasingly partnering with IPL teams and players to gain visibility and enhance their brand image. Some of the key examples are-
- Dream 11
- My11 Circle
- Vision 11
In-stadium branding and promotions
Stadium branding is one of the most powerful tools for brands to directly grab the attention of the audience. Therefore, real-money gaming companies promote their games during IPL matches through hoardings, banners, and on-ground activations.
TV and digital ad campaigns
In case you are a die-hard IPL fan then you might have witnessed the gaming brands featuring celebrities. These ads include megastars like MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Shahrukh Khan, etc. Real-money gaming companies also run TV and digital ad campaigns during IPL matches to reach a wider audience. These campaigns often feature popular IPL players and aim to create brand awareness and drive user acquisition.
Challenges and Controversies
Real money games are nothing but an old wine of gambling in a new bottle. After all, you can’t win cash prizes unless and until you pour your money to play the game. The debate over its legality has caused numerous hurdles for the gaming sector such as-
- Regulatory Concerns and Restrictions
- Ethical debates surrounding real money games
The real money gaming industry in India is heavily regulated, with several states imposing restrictions and banning certain types of games. Companies must adhere to these regulations to avoid legal issues. There are also ethical concerns surrounding real money games, with some critics arguing that they promote gambling and can lead to addiction and financial ruin for users.
Maintaining brand image and reputation
Given the controversies surrounding real money games, companies must be mindful of their brand image and reputation. Any negative publicity can significantly impact their user acquisition and retention efforts. They must adopt responsible gaming practices and prioritize user safety and security to maintain a positive image of the brand.
IPL is heaven for marketing. How? Due to its large audience and the craze of cricket among Indians. Real-money games immensely utilize this golden opportunity to increase their user base. The strong connection between IPL and real money games is primarily due to “Marketing”. Real-money gaming companies have utilized numerous marketing strategies to advertise their products through IPL. Unfortunately, these companies face various challenges while earning fame. However, they overcome these challenges by providing security to their customers. Thus, we can say that IPL is the perfect opportunity for marketing real money games.