Delhi, [India] : When Chinese lead sponsors of the IPL 2020 withdrew, Indian businesses jumped in to the rescue. The situation was quickly salvaged and made successful due to some large traditional Indian tyre and mobility brands. Notably some of them were first timers.

Dream 11 replaced a Chinese mobile brand amid geopolitical tensions got all the attention. And while Ceat, which sponsors the Strategic Timeout this season, has been a regular, Tata’s stepped in with its new four-wheeler as also legacy tyre brands BKT and Ralco. Others include Maruti Suzuki, Jeep and CarDekho.

These leading players from the automobile and transport business along with the rest of the sponsors make up for the Indian businesses that are putting their sponsorship money on IPL 2020, despite the situation being very different due to the coronavirus pandemic having an effect on the health of businesses and traditional sponsors of initial IPL seasons no longer in the game.

For instance, for tyre manufacturer Ralco, the tournament presented it its first instance of associating with a sports marketing initiative. The 40-year-old, premier tyre manufacturer, who caters to a range of automotive tyre segments including mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, 3Wheeler and LT/ULT tyres, stepping in as a sponsor of IPL 2020 meant it could aggressively push for growth in the 2-wheeler tyre business.

As the auto and allied transport business started showing growth signs, in the week starting September 19, when IPL 2020 kicked off, it recorded 269 million viewers. This translates to 11 million more watching each match when compared to the first week of the last IPL edition, which was held in India and amidst a full stadium of spectators.

IPL 2020 has seen the stepping in of tyre, auto, transport business’ help it ride to success. This week as we enter into the last stage of league matches, taking place within the secure confines of a bio-bubble in the United Arab Emirates, a report by BARC-Nielsen showed a 30 percent growth per match in terms of viewing minutes being recorded as compared to the previous edition of the league.

Over 32 matches, IPL 2020 has recorded 7.3 billion viewing minutes. With a cumulative reach of 110 million per match this year, the 13th edition has gone beyond 5.6 billion viewing minutes and a cumulative reach of 99 million over 35 matches in the first four weeks last year.

The league has come a long way from the time when Chinese brands pulled out to be quickly replaced by Indian companies. When the IPL 2020 began in September, Indian automobile and tyre brands which are now witnessing a gradual revival, had no better marketing platform and limited options.

With the playoffs next week, and finals to be played in Dubai on November 10, the tournament has proven to be a perfect branding platform for the Indian transport business which is currently on a happy growth trajectory.

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