IPL 6 Sponsors in costly fix

With fresh disclosures tumbling out everyday in the ongoing investigation into the notorious bookie-player nexus in the Indian Premier League (IPL) season 6, things have started to take a toll even on participating sponsors.

While PepsiCo, the title sponsor for the present season is currently busy saving its image, Vodafone and Yes Bank haven’t opened their cards yet.

The storm has surely smacked the market-image of the companies involved in the IPL 6 set-up that has turned out to be “Bhasmasura” for everyone involved in the show.

PepsiCo., in particular, hadn’t ever anticipated that after dishing out almost double (around 398 crore for five years) for what DLF had paid as the title sponsor for the preceding seasons, it would have to face such petrifying consequences.

IPL Sponsors in a fix
IPL Sponsors in a fix

Indisputably, Coca Cola Co. (the major competitor) must be rejoicing over decision to stay away from bidding for the IPL 6 sponsorship rights. The viewership post IPL-fixing expose has also dwindled substantially by 14 % as per the latest reports by TAM Media Research.

Similarly, Yes Bank, which had signed a five year contract as a ground-sponsor after the position was left vacant by Citi in the financial service category won’t be too relaxed either.

Citi didn’t renew its contract with the IPL this time and must be patting its back for the discreet decision. Conversely, Vodafone did and the current turmoil would only add to its set that already contains ample problems in the country.

No gains and all losses for the participating companies in the IPL 6

Undeniably, Pepsi clearly overpaid for the contract when the deal could have been settled for a much lower price. In fact, it would now (post fixing expose) have to invest more in marketing and promotional activities to overcome the negativism hanging around its neck ——- analogous to an albatross.

PepsiCo’s main motive behind investing in the IPL 6 was to seize at least 5 years of decline in its market share and get closer to Coca Cola Co. in the Indian soft drink market.

As per Euromonitor’s data, while Coca Cola’s stock increased to 61% in 2012 from 57% in 2007, PepsiCo’s share fell to 36% from 40% in the same period and the reason could be attributed to an underdeveloped distribution network unlike that of Coca-Cola.

One needs to be sound in providing “ground-access” to the consumers in India than just depending upon marketing gimmicks/advertisements. Coca-Cola Co. was totally aware about the basic fact and therefore maintained distance from the league and invested in reaching out to retailers and consumers anticipating very hot summers this time around.

Simialry, Yes Bank, official financial service provider, is bound to get into a fix as well as investigative authorities would look in its banking system too if they feel that illegal money could have found its way into its accounts.

Post Cobrapost revelations regarding easy access provided by the Indian banks (both private and public sector) for parking illegal funds, Yes Bank is sure to face a grilling in the approaching days.

Vodafone is already at war with the Indian government for some time now over the tax avoidance issue involving massive sum of Rs 11,200 crore. This scandal would certainly add on to its tribulations more than anything else.

India Cements, an official sponsor of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of the franchises in IPL, too has observed a fall in its share price as a result of the controversy further adding to its dismal fourth quarter results.

Additionally, the way Sahara terminated its long term alliance with the IPL and the Indian cricket is paining too.

Ending on a lighter note, nothing but only the stance “hum to dubenge sanam, tumhe bhi saath le kar jaengey is believed to be adopted by the IPL authorities in the present context with respect to the sponsors of the league.

A mechanical engineering graduate with a post graduation in marketing and sales, Ashish has combined professional experience of more than 4 years. Ashish is a great fan of Martin Scorsese. He loves to write poetry in his spare time. He lives in Shimla.

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