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Will brand IPL take a hit after the spot-fixing scandal?


Sonal Joshi,CNN-IBN
May 17, 2013 at 12:49pm IST

New Delhi: Will brand IPL take a hit after the new spot-fixing scandal? CNN-IBN takes a look at companies that are investing crores in the game.

If the fall in ratings was not bad enough, the spot-fixing scandal has put the most successful cricket brand in a fix. Till now, tight matches kept bringing advertisers to come on board with bigger budgets. Official broadcaster Max is expected to rake in over Rs 800 crore with ad revenue in this year's IPL. Brand and advertising experts say spot-fixing allegations will take away IPL's credibility at least for now.

Adman Prahlad Kakkar said, "It will affect these cricketers and the Rajasthan Royals definitely. But it depends on TRPs. Advertisers are mercenary, they don't care you win or lose as long as people are watching you. There is no moral position. If people watch they are going to advertise. But if people stop watching because of this scandal, advertising will drop. It's as simple as that."

Pepsi, the title sponsor of IPL 6, has made considerable investments. The beverage major has committed almost Rs 400 crore for five years in the IPL. Pepsi told CNN-IBN, "The matter is under investigation and we are confident that the BCCI and the IPL Governing Council will take appropriate action. We believe in the spirit of fair play in sports and will remain committed to the property."

Others like Vodafone, Yes Bank, McDowells avoided to speak. So it is not only advertisers, but also these partner brands, which will have to bear the brunt as the image of the game gets maligned.

Cricket commentator Ayaz Memon said, "Sponsors are not a homogenous group. That's what happened with Tiger Woods, some stayed, some left. If the eyeballs remain, sponsors will remain. But some sponsors might stay away and say they don't trust this game. "

The incident may see players being pressured by respective countries to give the IPL a skip in future editions. If that does happen, the downward slide for brand IPL may be fast and hurtling. But the biggest challenge for brand IPL and brands that ride on this brand is to get the cricket obsessed nation to come to terms with this big let down.

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