Debashish Chakraborty
Brands and Sports marketing

Case Study on CRED’s successful growth story with IPL 2020

The platform created a national sensation with their Advertising strategy for the festive season and witnessed a jump in their app metrics.


After a long delay caused by the pandemic, this year’s IPL captured the highest viewership ever in its history. The event saw interest from both traditional and younger players with first-time advertisers partnering with the event. The advertising on the broadcast was a major success with a sold-out ad inventory.

Case Study on CRED’s successful growth story with IPL 2020

Source: Nielsen & BARC - Television Viewership and Advertising consumption of IPL-13 2020

CRED, founded in 2018 is the brain-child of serial entrepreneur and investor Kunal Shah (founded Freecharge in 2010 and sold it to Snapdeal for a whopping $450 million in 2015). The platform positions itself as a member-exclusive one-stop platform to manage credit bills and receive rewards for bill payments. The rewards and privileges offered are of various forms such as discount coupons, access to events, gift cards, experiences and upgrades from numerous partner brands. In the 2020 edition, CRED partnered with IPL for the first time. The platform came on board as an official league sponsor with BCCI and signed on as the official broadcast associate sponsor to reach the wider audience with not just on-ground activations and branding; but also ensured they capitalised on the ad breaks on the telecast with a well-planned TVC campaign.


For brands in the fintech segment, it becomes important to not just be visible enough but also make sure their services are loud and secure enough for the customers to trust. This becomes a key for a brand like CRED, which is a young player, and functions in a sector dominated by majorly traditional players whose marketing and advertising presence is apparent.

It’s noteworthy how a comparatively new brand like CRED made the best of this by running its campaign to its targeted users on television. It reached out to its premium class of audience i.e the first-generation wealthy, by leveraging the HD feed only for the IPL matches - helping the brand to target the audience who is more likely to use credit cards. This was a well-strategized customer acquisition move by filtering out a segment of a non-relatable audience group.

Case Study on CRED’s successful growth story with IPL 2020

A global event like IPL, courtesy its robust and extensive broadcast reach, does not just get massive eyeballs on television for the partnered brand but with targeted campaigning and initiatives creates a recall. The constant recall draws a curiosity which the brand can leverage leading to customer acquisition. In CRED’s case, the league helped the platform to draw the desired attention from its targeted approach.

This is what Shailendra J Singh, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital (a key investor in CRED) mentioned about the ad campaigns:


IPL’s 2020 edition had enough buzz ever since the news of the sporting event hit the stands. Played during the pandemic, the event managed to trigger high anticipation of both – fans and brands. CRED approached the league with the idea of not just leveraging the massive audience base (including the platform’s affluent and premium TG) but also educating the TG with brand messages around financial literacy on credit card payments.

CRED hasn’t been a robust advertiser since its inception but advertised heavily during IPL 2020, especially leveraging broadcast. Contrary to the popular belief of television only fulfilling the needs of well-established brands, CRED proves on point why broadcast associations are still meaningful and leverage-worthy. Especially for online businesses, advertising on TV is vital as it not just leads to credibility but accords an exposure that is unmatched. While associations with large marquee events like IPL do give brands an audience but to make it fruitful, brands need to ensure – through their marketing campaigns & choice of advertising medium – that the audience is at the edge of their seats – be it on the ground or on their television sets.

Case Study on CRED’s successful growth story with IPL 2020

The platform released multiple initiatives to back the partnership. One of them was CRED Power Play – members paying their credit card bills during the match power play stood a chance to get 100% cash-back via CRED. This stood as a great exemplar for intertwining a brand’s initiative with the partnered event.

The platform also released five ad-films during the course of the event. The ad films featuring actors Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Govinda and singers Bappi Lehri, Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan.

Kunal Shah’s response to these ad campaigns:


As a direct result of the partnership, over 100 million user visits happened on the CRED App during IPL. The platform managed to reach a massive audience base and additionally created an intrigue about the product which led to exploration and further, conversation. As a new player, the association would also help the platform to generate interest from brands who’d be interested to partner.

As per App Annie, a global provider of mobile data and analytics, the daily downloads of the CRED App increased by over eight times when compared with the pre-IPL time period (18 days prior to IPL).

Case Study on CRED’s successful growth story with IPL 2020

The clutter breaking and non-traditional marketing campaign around the ad-films received rave reviews within the marketing and advertising fraternity and was a massive hit amongst consumers. Especially, the creative approach along with a single objective messaging – ‘Download Now’ and execution were highly appreciated. The campaign also managed to stir social chatter around the films featuring celebrities and the brand bantering.

The association also showcased why sporting events like IPL and, importantly, the broadcasting partner’s hold on TV advertising continue to be a marketer’s favourite. Over the years, the league has attracted advertisers from across domains and proved to be a pivotal point around which campaigns and marketing budgets are curated. Broadcasting options like different video formats, multiple channels with SD and HD feeds, and regional feedshave additionally given brands a chance to cater to their audience specifically making it a one-stop destination. CRED’s success story is also a paragon on how young brands can leverage the event with the right planning and strategizing – with its association turning out to be rewarding for the brand.