IPL 2021: How are key sponsors leveraging the tournament?

The ongoing IPL 2021 has as per expectations been garnering a positive response from the fans, based on the viewership. With everyone enthusiastically watching the matches, this is an ideal time for brands to roll out their branding campaigns. And that’s exactly what they have been doing in the past two weeks. These companies are increasing their engagement, both on and off the field. Here is a snippet of their ongoing marketing tactics.


After opting out of last season, the smartphone brand is back this year. As per their initial deal, VIVO will be paying Rs 440 crr each year to IPL. VIVO sponsors the “perfect catch of the match’ each during the games with one lakh as its prize money.

The telecommunication brands’ director for brand strategy, Nipun Marya recently talked about their branding strategy. He insisted that IPL 2021 offers them a great opportunity to engage with their target audience. Most of the significant announcements or product launches have been around IPL – be it association with Aamir Khan, the launch of V-series, or the most recent announcement of Virat Kohli as the new brand ambassador.

VIVO will be focusing on elevating the customer experience. They have announced the #PerfectFan contest, which will see cricket fans from across the country get an opportunity to meet Virat Kohli and win exciting prizes like autographed bats. They would even get a chance to be featured on live TV during games. A


IPL 2021 is the second year for CRED’s association for the tournament. The digital credit card bills platform signed three-year deals worth Rs 120 crores in 2020. CRED sponsors the award for ‘power player of the Day’ with one lakh prize money.

Known for its quirky advertisement commercials after the success of last year’s campaign, this year the brand launched another series of ad campaign titled Cred: Greater for Good. Kunal Shah, Founder, and CEO, CRED, said that they were happy to continue their association with the league. The Indian company believes in rewarding good financial behaviour and through its promotional campaigns, it wishes to instill the importance of Financial Literacy. They reward the users based upon them practicing responsible financial behaviour.


Another firm of the fin-tech sector, stockbroking app Upstox reportedly signed a lucrative deal worth Rs 140 crores with IPL 2021. The startup sponsors the award for the ‘Most Valuable Asset’ with prize money of one lakh. The firm is using the opportunity to get more people to start investing in securities, a field that is still largely untapped in the country.

A company like CRED has also launched ad campaigns to create awareness, boost financial participation, and foster an investment culture across the country. Ravi Kumar, Co-founder & CEO of Upstox is hoping to give first-time users confidence to start their investment journey.  Upstox wants to refresh the way investing is done in India, just like IPL has reinvented cricket as a sport in India.

The marketing campaign has a multimedia approach that includes commercials on television, over-the-top video streaming platforms, digital, and social media platforms.  Upstox is also mentioned during the games when stats are displayed on television screens.


The digital education firm has gone on to become the biggest in their sector in India. Last year Unacademy signed the central sponsorship deal with the board last year. As per reports, the deal is for three years and it is worth Rs 120-130 crores. There is also news around the firm wanting to be the title sponsor for the same. 

The brand sponsors the award for ‘Most Sixes’ with prize money of one lakh. And it also advertises itself during the game through commentators talking about it during the games’ commentary.

Earlier this year the platform had roped in Sachin Tendulkar as its strategic investor, and as part of the deal, Unacademy users will be coached and mentored by the legend through a series of live interactive classes. Unacademy is using IPL 2021 to increase visibility and make virtual educational training a prominent thing in the country.


It is the year of ECOM Gaming platforms, as they are one of the streams of Ecommerce dominating advertisement revenue in IPL 2021. Dream11 leads in the current list as it enjoys the first mover’s advantage. After serving as title sponsor of IPL 2020, Dream11 is back to being a key partner in IPL 2021.

The platform sponsors the award for ‘Dream11 Game Changer’ with prize money of Rs 1 lakh to the player that garners most fantasy points during the game. Before the start of the tournament the company was valued at about $5billion, after Airbnb and Netflix investor TCV and few others have invested $400 million in Dream11’s parent entity. 

Dream11 claimed to have over 10 crore users playing fantasy cricket, football, kabaddi, basketball, hockey, volleyball, handball, rugby, and baseball. It was launched in 2008 and is among the earliest entrants in the fantasy gaming space in India. Harsh Jain, Co-founder and CEO of dream sports said that the Fantasy Sports category in India drives digital engagement to real-life sporting events and brings fans closer to the sport they love. The company is proud to continually contribute to the overall expansion of the Indian sports ecosystem.

TATA Motors

IPL 2021 will mark four years of association of the tournament with Tata Motors. Like every year, this season’s Most Destructive player will also be given the newly launched Tata Safari. The company is looking forward to leveraging the platform to showcase and drive engagement for their car.  The motor company sponsors the award for ‘Safari Super Striker’ during the games with one lakh as its prize money.

IPL 2021 is a special one as the tournament has made its way back to its Indian venues after a difficult year. Safari has received a great response, especially with respect to its premium design, features and comfort, from customers and it is making its IPL debut in this new avatar. The firm is working on innovative plans to catch viewers’ attention as they tune in from across the country to support their teams, said Vivek Srivatsa, head–marketing, passenger vehicle business unit, Tata Motors. 

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