afaqs!

Mumbai Indians hopes to earn money online with MSN's help

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | January 29, 2010
The IPL team will have a new website, which will be monetised primarily through advertisements

Horizontal portal MSN.co.in has bagged the responsibilities to establish and manage the Internet presence of the Mumbai Indians team for the IPL (Indian Premier League) Season 3 cricket tournament. The team owners had managed the website, MumbaiIndians.com, in the last two seasons.

Speaking to afaqs!, Sanjay Trehan, head, MSN.co.in, reveals, "We have entered into a deal with the team owners of Mumbai Indians, according to which MSN (India) will set up, manage, maintain, generate content and monetise the new website of Mumbai Indians for IPL Season 3 on a revenue sharing basis." MSN will also partner with the team owners to market the site.

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He adds, "The new Mumbai Indians website is expected to go live in the second or third week of February and will be hosted on MSN (India) servers. It will have two URLs -MumbaiIndians.in.msn.com and MumbaiIndians.com, both of which direct users to the same webpage." There will also be a dedicated section for Mumbai Indians on MSN.co.in.

How will the upcoming website of Mumbai Indians differ from its previous avatar? Trehan says that the team will have presences on social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook, which will be integrated with the revamped site as well. He indicates that the site will have a Twitter box, where conversations happening on the Mumbai Indians Twitter account will be posted.

Apart from social media integration, regular features such news, photo gallery, score card, videos, player details and merchandise will continue to exist in the Mumbai Indians portal.

The new website of the team will also have space for advertisements, including banner, video and text ads. Trehan says, "The advertising will contribute the major chunk of revenue for the Mumbai Indians website. It will be supported by content sponsorships, sale of merchandise and match tickets."

As per the deal, MSN (India) will share the total revenue earned from the Mumbai Indians web presence with the cricket team owners. Trehan refused to divulge details about the percentage of revenue that will be shared with the team owners and the budget or costs allocated for the website. However, according to an industry estimate, the costs borne by IPL team owners for the online presences during an IPL tournament are in the range of Rs 20 lakh-1 crore.

For the record, this is not the first time that MSN has tied up with an IPL team owner for its web presence. Earlier, during IPL 2008 and 2009, MSN had entered into partnerships with the Bengaluru team (Royal Challengers), in which the horizontal portal designed, hosted and powered the Royal Challengers website.