New IPL schedule to make Delhi, Jaipur teams poorer

GMR and Emerging Media, owners of IPL teams Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals respectively, would take a significant hit if the home ministry rejects IPL’s revised schedule and excludes Delhi and Jaipur from hosting matches, the team owners said.

While some sponsors are looking to renegotiate deals citing loss of opportunity to leverage on marketing plans, the team owners are set to lose revenues by way of ticket and merchandise sales.

Besides, dropping Delhi and Jaipur would impact upcoming deals because the franchisee owners are in negotiations with additional sponsors to shore up revenues.

Team sponsorship deals include in-stadia presence, below-the-line activation rights and hoardings, and going by the original schedule, every home state could host seven matches.

GMR Sports CEO Amrit Mathur said: “It would be a financial setback for us if the matches are not held in Delhi, and our plans will be impacted negatively.

There will be a reduction in gate revenues and merchandise sales.” Mr Mathur declined to divulge details of losses the teams would incur.

GMR’s sponsors include Hero Honda, Coca-Cola, Religare, Adidas, Kingfisher and Reliance ADAG-promoted social networking site BigAdda. “The BigAdda deal, for example, is Delhi-centric and would get impacted,” Mr Mathur added.

Plans include BigAdda creating ‘addas’ (groups) to help fans connect with the team, merchandise sales and source tickets for local matches.

Another Delhi Daredevils initiative that would be of little relevance is GMR’s ‘member club’ card initiative, which includes offering discounts on match tickets, attending team practices and meeting players at social engagements after matches.

Kingfisher, associate sponsor of Rajasthan Royals, spokesperson told ET: “When a brand partners with a franchisee team of a particular city, it intends to leverage on certain benefits. But if the team is unable to play in its home state, it would adversely impact sponsors.”

Apart from Kingfisher, Rajasthan Royals sponsors include GlaxoSmithkline and Puma. A Rajasthan Royals spokesperson said the company would comment only after the final schedule is announced by BCCI.

For Coca-Cola, Delhi not hosting matches could mean altering various brand-activation plans. A Coca-Cola spokesperson said: “We are awaiting the final schedule of all IPL matches from our partner.”

An advertising executive added that if a liquor brand is associated with a team that plays most of its matches in a dry state it will adversely impact the brand’s interest.

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