India is a cricket crazy nation. This statement might seem trivial and overused but there are enough examples to prove its veracity. A low score of 275 seemed impossible when the opening batsmen left for the pavilion in a duck and the legend got dismissed in the sixth-over. India halted. And then it started to pray. A nation came together as one and patriotism filled the air. The night seemed long but it ended only when the firecrackers were all lit and used! India lifted the World Cup trophy and Indians lived for cricket.
Come this summer and we Indians are in for a similar fever as two of the biggest cricket events awaits us: Indian Premier League and ICC Cricket World Cup.
Indian Premier League, the biggest sporting event in the country, is set to start from March 29, 2019 and run till May 19, 2019. This means 52 days of non-stop cricket, unmatched branding opportunities, a nation glued to their screens, and a cricketing fever like no other. Much before the first match is played, IPL creates buzz and hooks people with its players’ auction. Speculations on who will be the costliest buy and who would switch teams are what gets discussed everywhere. This year the auction is slated to start from December 18. Last year, Ben Stokes maintained his streak of being the most expensive players with an eye-watering 12.5 crore while Jaydev Unadkat became the most expensive Indian player in that edition with a price tag of 11.5 crore. KL Rahul and Manish Pandey both stood at 11 crore each with Chris Lynn being at 9.6 crore.
The price tags associated with these players are increasing and are a proof that IPL is a gold pot and players participating in it are having the time of their lives. Looking at the stats of the last edition of IPL which had a reach of a whopping 603 million on TV, apart from digital. With 325 million even before the first ball was bowled, cements the fact that the cricketing fever has no signs of lowering down. All due to the build-up shows, the surrounding promotions, and the general inclination towards cricket! The sky-high numbers are also an indication for brands and advertisers that the league should be a crucial part in their marketing plan as the unmatched reach and engagement will simply continue to grow.
While IPL will bring in the rush of a 20-over cricketing tournament, the more traditional one-day world cup will follow it soon. Starting from May 30, 2019, the ICC Cricket World Cup will continue the cricket high culminating in the mid-week of July. These two events will mark 4 months of cricket for a nation that swears by the name of the sport. For advertisers, this will mark the biggest opportunity to connect with their audience and stay on top of their minds. There will be innovations, huge ad spends, and a hustle to grasp the best spot.
For the audience, summer has never been hotter and its waves will be felt starting from December 18 when the IPL bidding initiates. Co-workers will argue on the price of their favourite player, dinner discussions will change to which player should end up with which team, permutations and combinations on the chances of winning for a team will fill up white-boards, and the nation will change its schedule to make out time for their team! Cricket fever is about to rise again!