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IPL Marketing Goals Scored: A Winning Case Study

Subharun Mukherjee 18+ years of experience leading product strategy, Go-To-Market (GTM), new market entry, value-based sales, analyst relations, and customer experience programs. Expertise in Financial Services, eCommerce, on-demand services, and the SaaS industry.
IPL Marketing Goals Scored: A Winning Case Study


Imagine a sporting event that surpasses the US Super Bowl’s viewership for every single match, across an entire two-month-long, 74 match season and is arguably second only to the FIFA World Cup. In every match, the air buzzes with anticipation, the roar of the crowd swells like a tidal wave, and the colors of the teams paint a canvas of fervent loyalty. A tournament which uses its majestic tapestry to weave together the fervor of cricket with the razzmatazz of Bollywood (Indian Film Industry), creating an unparalleled stage for brand gladiators to conquer. A tournament that is a coronation of consumerism, a jubilee of jubilation and where every marketer’s dream is not just realized but revered.

Welcome to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the world’s most popular club cricket tournament which over the last decade, has emerged as a marketing juggernaut,  transcending the boundaries of sport, fanaticism and consumerism.  Held annually in India, the IPL was launched by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007 and it features ten city-based franchise teams competing in the Twenty20 (T20) cricket format. Traditionally played from April to June, the IPL brings together the top cricketers from around the world, creating a melting pot of talent. Matches take place in packed stadiums across India, with previous editions also being held in UAE and SouthAfrica, and attracts hundreds of millions of viewers from across the world. 

What sets the IPL apart is its blend of cricketing excellence, entertainment, and marketing prowess. The tournament is not just about the sport; it’s a branding spectacle that captivates hearts and minds globally. The league’s economic impact is staggering, attracting multi-billion dollar sponsorships and advertisements for the millions of viewers tuning in. Whether you’re a cricket enthusiast or a marketer, the IPL is an event you can’t ignore.


In this blogpost we attempt to dive into the scale and numbers that make the Indian Premier League (IPL) a marketing powerhouse. First, a quantitative comparison as captured in this table: 

StatsIPLFIFA World CupSummer OlympicsSuper BowlTaylor Swift Eras tour
Final Match Viewership200 million1.5 billionNA124 million96K
Overall Viewership505 million5 billion 3.05 billion ?~6 million
Brand Value$ 11.2 billion$24 billion $ 5.8 billion$18 billion~$10 billion

As a brand the IPL may currently lag behind biggies such as the Super Bowl, but bear in mind it is a league which is a quarter of the latters age and with cricket gaining popularity worldwide, the numbers can (and will) only go upwards from here.

In summary, the IPL’s scale is mind-boggling—millions of fans, billions of dollars, and an unmatched blend of cricket, entertainment, and branding magic.

The IPL attracts a wide range of advertisers, but some of the biggest spenders tend to fall into these categories:

EcommerceFinancial ServicesFantasy GamingFMCGOthers
Tata Group Companies








Angel One 


MPL/Dream 11Coca Cola


Bira 91


Jio Cinema (OTT)

Ceat (Auto Ancillary)

Greenply (Manufacturing)

OLX (Listing)

Unacademy (Edtech)

Pan Masala

Putting Campaigns in Play

To take advantage of the hype and buzz around the IPL, marketers have to be swift and agile enough to strike while the iron is hot. When the course of a match can be altered in a single minute, mass campaigns need to be altered, personalised and sent out in a matter of minutes, lest a competitor grab attention and capitalise on it.  Further, the requirements may vary for brands, with some requiring real-time message personalisation and instant delivery, while others may need transaction conversion, with others still requiring something in between. 

Let us look at some examples of brands using these in play during live IPL matches: 

  • Fantasy Gaming: The thirty minutes between the toss and the first ball, is when end-users carry out crucial updates to their fantasy league teams, which is crucial for the brand to achieve it monetisation targets. For this purpose, the brand needed to send out around 40 million notifications to its users alerting them of the toss and nudging them towards making necessary team changes. The brand segmented its users in advance and used this thirty minute window, to send out these personalised messages in under 4 minutes – an industry first for volume and speed. This resulted in half million rupees extra view-through revenue and Rs. 37,000/- extra  click-through revenue (per sec) which amounted to a total of Rs. 15.34 Cr Rs. worth extra view-through and Rs. 97lac extra click- per match of IPL, ensuring the brands campaigns were a major success.
  • Online Match Broadcaster: As the official digital broadcaster of the tournament, the brand was guaranteed millions of engaged users. The brand typically experienced a 5x spike in viewership during IPL matches. To sweeten its pot further, the brand stream the matches for free, thus taking the number of viewers to nearly 400 million. By sending app based campaigns to all 400 million users in less than 12 minutes, the brand was able to garner 12 billion total video views and was also able to automatically enrich 576M data points across 70 million profiles, leading to campaign success and better segmentation for the future. 

In comparing IPL campaigns to non-IPL campaigns, some key differences that emerged are:

  1. Intensity and Frequency:
    • During the IPL, user engagement spikes significantly. Businesses can afford to be more assertive with their messaging.
    • Non-IPL days require a balanced approach. Users may not appreciate excessive notifications, so businesses need to be strategic.
  2. Contextual Relevance:
    • IPL-related campaigns resonate with users because they align with their current interests. Businesses must tap into this context.
    • On non-IPL days, campaigns should focus on broader themes, ensuring relevance without overwhelming users.
  3. Conversion Windows:
    • The IPL provides a concentrated window for conversions. Businesses must optimize their funnels during this period.
    • Non-IPL days allow for a more extended conversion cycle, emphasizing sustained engagement.

Win the IPL Marketing MVP with CleverTap

Clevertap, the leading all-in-one customer engagement and retention platform, works closely with several brands to help them optimise their campaigns for IPL thus enabling them to execute creative, fast and agile campaigns to achieve their desired outcomes. 

It does this by driving its “Understand -> Optimise -> Engage” philosophy and executed through its suite of products dealing with: 

  1. Details and bespoke Customer Data & Analytics
  2. Personalisation 
  3. Experimentation & Optimization
  4. Onichannel Campaign Orchestration

thus, empowering brands to execute their dream campaigns and achieve desired outcomes and goals. 

The CleverTap platform enables this through a combination of the following: 

  • Massive Scale of Campaigns: CleverTap’s platform buzzes with activity during the IPL. Over 14 billion push notifications were sent through CleverTap during the entire 2023 IPL season. More than 700 campaigns featured IPL-related keywords, triggering over 2.6 billion notifications to end-users. Yes, you read that right—50 million notifications within just 10 minutes for a single campaign!
  • Timing it right: Time is of the essence during IPL matches and thus ensuring quick campaign execution and pre-configured times of the day is essential. As we saw in the case of the fantasy league brand above, delivering 40 million notifications in less than 4 minutes, enabled success. Further, as matches begin around 7:30 pm, nearly 80% of all IPL-related notifications were sent after 7:00 pm and the scale did not affect execution or performance quality. 
  • Adapting to Platform Preferences: It was observed that Android phone users were more responsive, with 2X higher click-through rates (CTRs) compared to iOS users. CleverTap’s data-driven insights used this to guide brands to experiment and optimise campaigns for specific devices.
  • Conversions: CleverTap’s personalized campaigns kept brands at top-of-users-mind and nudged users toward desired actions, whether it was purchasing IPL merchandise, subscribing to streaming services, or availing discounts. Throughuse of  effective campaign orchestration, brands witnessed a surge in conversions and real-time, bespoke, activity tracking allowed brands  to adjust their strategies on the fly, ensuring maximum conversions.
  • Re-activations: The IPL season provided an excellent opportunity to re-engage dormant users. CleverTap’s segmentation capabilities allowed businesses to target specific user groups effectively. Whether it was lapsed subscribers or inactive app users, personalized re-activation campaigns led to a revival in user activity.

As the cricketing fever grips the nation, CleverTap ensures that businesses hit the right pitch, score big, and emerge as champions in their marketing game.

So, whether you’re a streaming service or an e-commerce platform or anything in between, don’t miss out on this once-a-year opportunity to leverage the unparalleled reach and engagement of the IPL season by partnering with CleverTap

Last updated on May 15, 2024