Why TATA has sponsored IPL?
TATA is one of the most trusted brand by India. It was established in 1868 by Jamshedji Tata. This year the Tata group has replaced Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Vivo as the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for 2 years i.e. 2022 and 2023 seasons. It will pay BCCI Rs. 670 crore for the sponsorship rights. We have heard or seen the conglomerate’s companies like Tata Steel or Tata Consultancy Services or Tata Motors sponsor an event on an individual basis but to see the Group itself as the title sponsor was unexpected or unheard.
This has indeed been a momentous occasion for the BCCI and IPL as the Tata Group is the epitome of global Indian enterprise with an over 100-year-old legacy and operations in more than 100 countries across six continents.
For this year’s IPL, the deal could be seen as a face-saver. After clashes between the Indian and Chinese armies in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley in 2020, the BCCI had received a lot of backlash for having a Chinese company as the title sponsor.
Vivo will pay the BCCI around Rs 454 crore for the termination of its contract. But what does a well-known enterprise such as Tata Group, with a loyal customer base, stand to gain from being the title sponsor of the IPL?
Firstly, Tata has done a commendable job and nationalistic appeal by taking IPL’s title rights from a Chinese company. A Tata title sponsorship seems to justify an Indian brand narrative rightfully sponsoring the most celebrated Indian Premier League.
The Tata Group has dipped its foot in diverse business verticals from steel and automotive to aerospace and telecom and media and more. If you were to jot down all the companies under the Group, most will not fall under the consumer-facing column. However, in the past 24 months, it has acquired some serious consumer-facing brands.
In October 2021, the Tata Group announced it was to acquire a 100 per cent stake in national carrier Air India with a winning bid of Rs 18,000 crore. Go back a few months in the same year and the conglomerate through Tata Digital acquired a majority stake in 1MG, an online pharmacy, in June 2021 following its 64 per cent stake pick up in e-grocer Big Basket in May.
And in 2020, Tata Global Beverages Limited (TGBL) and Tata Chemicals came together as TGBL that was renamed as Tata Consumer Products Limited (TCPL). It brought key consumer-facing brands such as Tata Salt, Tata Tea, Tata Sampann and Tetley under a single umbrella.
This is an unparalleled opportunity to communicate and reach out to consumers across the country. To increase their connectivity they are planning to launch their own app.
The sponsorship deal comes just as Tata is inching towards the launch of its super app Tata Neu. This app will consolidate all of Tata’s consumer-facing businesses, from online grocery (Big Basket), online pharmacy (1Mg), ecommerce (Tata Cliq), consumer electronics (Croma), fashion retail (Westside) and more.
Presumably, the app will also allow users to book hotel rooms in Tata owned hotel chains such as Taj and Vivanta, while one could also book flight tickets in Air India. There will also be an option for digital and bill payments. The app is currently being tested amongst Tata Group employees, and is expected to be launched around March this year. Tata Digital’s super app TataNeu will be launched for the public in early 2022. It will also gain a lot in its attempts to Youngify India’s one of the biggest and oldest industrial brands Tata.
At 400 billion total viewing minutes for IPL 2020 and 10 billion for the first match of IPL 2021, the T20 cricket league is easily the most attractive sports property for advertisers and sponsors. And it’s had considerable success in increasing brand recall for sponsors. IPL 2020 title sponsor Dream11 crossed 100 million users during the tournament, experiencing a 44.4% surge in traffic during the final match compared to 2019. The surge in cryptocurrency adoption in India happened as exchanges such as Coin DCX and Coin Switch Kuber became IPL 2021 sponsors.
Tata is also planning to start it’s own UPI app which in it’s own will be a challenge for it to establish in India as there is surge of UPI apps like Paytm, Google Pay, Amazon Pay etc.
As Tata gears up to challenge with the e-commerce behemoths like Amazon and Reliance, association with a high-impact broadcast property such as the IPL will provide it the much-needed boost for the launch of its super app.
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