The soaring popularity and massive influence of the Indian Premier League (IPL) helps fantasy gaming platforms reach lower-tier cities and newer audiences, according to Harish Rawat, senior vice president of marketing at Gameskraft.
Given the far-reaching impact of India’s premier T20 cricket tournament, fantasy sports firm Gamezy, which is owned by Gameskraft, used advertisements for the first time during IPL 2020.
“For marketers, this (IPL) is a golden opportunity, as one can capture a deeply engaged audience, across diverse segments (at mass) on one single platform and the duration of engagement allows enough time to seed meaningful messaging,” Harish Rawat told exchange4media.
As per the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India viewership data, the tournament reached 405 million viewers out of 836 million TV users in India.
The data also revealed that IPL 2020, despite being staged in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), registered seven billion viewing minutes for the first 41 matches aired across 21 channels.
It is estimated that Star Sports, which is the official broadcaster of the event, earned INR 2,400 crore in advertising revenue for the last season.
Moreover, IPL 2020 was the first major cricketing event after six months of lockdown during which the entire fantasy category lost out on active gamers.
Brands like Gamezy splurged on advertising during the marquee tournament to bring back inactive gamers.
“Viewers at large appreciated the ads. Our post IPL research shows that Gamezy ads had more than 70 per cent unaided recall,” reveals Rawat.
Indian cricketer KL Rahul, who is the brand ambassador of Gamezy, featured in its promotional campaigns and gave the brand strong recognition.
Other fantasy sports apps also witnessed a similar rise in traffic and engagement.
Dream11, the title sponsor of IPL 2020, experienced a surge of 44.4 per cent traffic volume as against the final match of IPL 2019 and achieved 5.3 million-plus user concurrency.
IPL 2021 is scheduled to start on April 9.