The India Premier League (IPL) is probably the most successful Indian startup. In just nine years, it has become a platform for energy, entertainment, and commercial impact fuelled by some exciting cricketing performances. With 192 million viewers, IPL has become one of the largest sporting extravaganza in the world today.
IPL has also helped challenge the way cricketing events have been sponsored traditionally. For long, the romance between cricket and branding was dominated by the colas, the sporting goods makers, mobile phones, and the odd cement manufacturer. But with all the funding pouring into startups in recent times, startups want a piece of the action too.
FreeCharge, a Snapdeal company, has become the on-ground official partner of IPL for a period of two years. Ola, on the other hand, is the official cab partner for five teams; which include Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab, and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Yatra too has officially partnered with Mumbai Indians. Some of the other startups that will be bowling their brands at this year’s IPL are:
Shuttl is India’s largest bus-aggregator company that runs a mobile-based minibus service aimed at making daily commute more convenient. The company does more than 20,000 rides a day on their fleet of 500 buses across Delhi-NCR. The startup has partnered with Delhi Daredevils to become its official travel partner. Together, they are promoting their common goal of a cleaner environment.
Since the signing up of Sachin Tendulkar as their brand ambassador, the wallet startup has embraced sports as an integral part of its marketing strategy and engagement. As title sponsors of the newly formed team of Gujarat Lions, Oxigen Wallet is betting big on the rise of mobile wallets in the Indian markets in the days to come.
Not exactly a startup, but an upstart, CASHurDRIVE is India’s first on-vehicle advertisement website. The company also helps organisations advertise on trains, buses, trucks, airlines, cinema, bars, pubs, events, newspapers, magazines, radio, among other channels. As official Media Partners of Gujarat Lions and Kings XI Punjab teams, CASHurDRIVE is hoping to go big in the days to come.
The online grocery shopping portal of AskMe is an official sponsor for Kings XI Punjab. Through their Facebook page and Twitter Handle, Askme Grocery has been constantly cheering for the team, and has helped the KXIP trend on social media among the team’s fans.
The Sportswear and Sports Equipment Brand was Introduced by TK Sports Private Limited in 2014. Apart from being the kit partner for various cricket teams across the world, TYKA has also associated itself with various soccer teams. They were the official apparel sponsor of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab until last year. This year, the startup has roped in Gujarat Lions as well.
Founded by Mahesh Bhupathi, the sports apparel and accessories startup has in no time roped in Ravi Shastri, director of the Indian Cricket team. As the new official kit partner of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the startup has already attracted much attention. Mahesh Bhupathi hopes that the technology developed by Zeven for Indian weather conditions will help RCB players win the tournament despite the scorching heat outside.
In addition, Food Companies like Zomato, Foodpanda, Faasos, and Swiggy have launched customised campaigns to cash in on the cricket season. While Faasos has rolled out 20 per cent cashbacks on food orders, Foodpanda is offering 25 per cent discount on selected restaurants, reports Exchange4Media. Voylla, an online portal for designer jewellery, too has launched its new collection of jewels that include bat and ball-inspired bracelets, stump cufflinks, helmet pendants and famous cricketers’ quotes like “I-love-Kohli!”