Indian Premier League (IPL) is not just a game but a hardcore emotion of Indians. Ever since its beginning in 2008, it became one of the craziest unofficial festivities among cricket enthusiasts! Have you ever wondered about the significant difference between IPL and other cricket matches? The distinction lies in the promotion and marketing factors. A common citizen (not a cricket lover) may not be aware of Ranji Trophy or test cricket matches. But whenever the season of IPL comes near, the whole country (especially BCCI) bangs out loud announcing the game with mind-blowing promotions and advertisements. Similar is the case with Women’s IPL. You will get a holistic view of how Women’s IPL presents the next big opportunity for advertisers and corporates.
A brief overview of Women’s IPL
Traditionally, till now, IPL was only a gentleman’s game. However, time is changing and women are participating equally in various fields. Be it NDA (National Defence Academy) or IPL (Indian Premier League), women are acing as soldiers, cricketers, as well as tough competitors. The Women’s IPL formally called Women’s Premier League (WPL) is the forthcoming female T-20 franchise federation in India. WPL is the successor of the Women’s T-20 challenge. Considering the remarkable growth of women’s cricket in India, the BCCI announced the Women’s Premier League to be conducted in March 2023. The final bidding process was done on 25th January 2023 wherein the total fund was raised to INR 4669 Crore. Currently, there are five teams namely-
- Bangalore (Karnataka)
- New Delhi (Delhi)
- Ahmedabad (Gujrat)
- Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
- Mumbai (Maharashtra)
As you know, women’s cricket is on a significant rise. This was charged by the growing interest in women’s participation in sports. Also, the excellent performance of the women’s cricket team in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 acted as icing on the cake. WPL holds great importance in the world of cricket. Because it serves as evidence of pioneering competition and gender equality in the cricket industry. Apart from this, it also provides an effective platform for the advertising and media industry.
Women’s IPL as an advertising and sponsorship opportunity
In a cricket-crazy nation like ours, the cricket leagues attract a lot of younger as well as more potent audiences. Women’s IPL act as an advertisement and sponsorship opportunity in the following ways-
- Increase in women’s viewership– Abundant brands are floating in the market that design products & services, especially for women. For example, Cosmetic brands (Nykaa & Sugar), Feminine energy drinks (Protein up women), etc. Women’s IPL is a heaven-sent opportunity for such brands and corporations to advertise their products. Female cricket players on the IPL platform will attract a significant amount of female viewers. Evidently, W-IPL will create a good chance to develop an untapped market of women viewers.
- Female icons & role models– Female cricketers and well as coaches are remarkably emerging as icons and role models in the cricket industry. It will create a golden chance for brands to associate with them for their campaigns related to influencer marketing.
- Targeting a diverse & loyal fan base– This is the highly impactful aspect of women’s cricket. Why so? You may ask. Because, women’s IPL is going to be a great platform for brands to reach out to the core target audience, notably in the age group of 15-40. It increases the visibility of a brand to propel the next level of audience growth. Also, it helps to establish a strong connection to the potential target customer to expand the footprint of a business.
Thus, it is beneficial for advertisers and corporates to tap into the market of women’s cricket i.e. women’s IPL.
Second Largest Franchise Cricket League
As of now, you must be aware that the Women’s IPL or WPL has embellished the second-largest franchise cricket league worldwide only after IPL by beating Australian Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League, and Pakistan Super League. Do you know that the corporate groups paid INR 4660 crore in total to acquire the teams of WPL? It is even higher than the amount the corporates paid in the debut of IPL in 2008! The Adani group paid the largest bid of INR 1289 crore for acquiring the Ahmedabad franchise whereas the Reliance group (Ambanis) paid INR 912 crore for the Mumbai franchise. Also, Viacom 18 (a segment of Reliance group) won the bid to acquire the broadcasting rights of WPL for the next five years. It paid INR 951 crore for it i.e. 7.09 crore per match.
Now the question arises-
Why are the corporates paying big bucks to acquire team rights in Women’s IPL?
Corporations are highly interested in women’s IPL. The acquisition of sports properties helps companies to acquire more viewers. Confused? Well, let me explain! You have heard of the OTT platforms like Disney Hotstar, Jio Sports, Star Sports, etc. Unlike Netflix (movies platform), the OTT platforms of the team acquiring corporate groups stream the cricket matches to gain potent viewers and market share in India. Also, they earn enormously by providing slots for video advertisements to other companies. Hence, corporates pay big bucks to acquire team rights.
Challenges for Advertisers & Corporates in Women’s IPL
Several barriers to women’s sports still exist despite countless positive aspects. Amongst all, the key challenges that advertisers and corporates face in WPL (Women’s Premier League) are-
- Lack of recognition for women’s cricket and players.
- The slow growth of women’s cricket as compared to men’s cricket.
However, it will be highly beneficial for advertising companies if they overcome the mentioned challenges. Certainly, it will help them to tap into the potential of women IPL and expand their business.
Conclusion- A perfect platform for advertisers to seize the opportunity
You cannot deny the fact that cricket is a notable industry that plays a crucial role in the development of the Indian economy. IPL is not only limited to amusement or entertainment but became a special platform for corporates to advertise their products. Since 2023 is the debut of Women’s IPL, therefore, everybody is eager to watch it. The best aspect of W-IPL is the 100% guarantee that companies will get extremely high viewership for their advertisements. Thus, Women’s IPL has a positive impact on the overall ecosystem of the IPL, advertisers, marketers, corporates as well as the audience.