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Indian Premier League: A Controversially Successful Sporting Event

CASE STUDY, MARKETING MANAGEMENT
ET Cases, 17 Pages

Case Preview

Indian Premier League: A Controversially Successful Sporting Event

 

The Ups and the Downs

The Indian Premier League (IPL) which concluded in Season 9 on May 29th 2016, began its journey in 2008. Since then, the IPL had been all about the three C’s – Cash, Cricket and Controversies. Cash and cricket were the focus of IPL but controversies just happened. In terms of business, initially IPL Season 9 failed to make a mark. The average television viewer rating (TVR) for the first six matches fell sharply to 3.5, as compared to 4.5 last season, i.e. IPL 8.1 The T202 World Cup which had taken place just before the IPL might have added to the wear-out effect which resulted in lesser viewers. However the tournament picked up slowly. It reached an enormous viewership of 335 million and with this, its reach grew 54% over the reach of its opening week.3 By mapping rural India, IPL Season 9 was looking at a viewership of around 500 million and a revenue increase of around 15-20% from broadcasting.4

The tournament which started amidst high glamour in 2008 was touted to be the answer to the club level championship in football. Though it had done well in phases, there were a lot of ups and downs in terms of viewership across the seasons. The on and off field controversies were really affecting the so-called ‘Gentleman’s Game’. The tournament was also facing a host of other challenges which it needed to desperately fix, if it wanted it to grow in the future..............


 1 Ashim Sunam, “IPL 2016 first week TV ratings second poorest in competition’s history”, http://www.ibtimes.co.in/ipl-2016-first-week-tv-ratings-second-poorest-competitions-history-676411, April 27th 2016 (accessed date: October 10th 2016)
2 In a Twenty20 (T20) game the two teams have a single innings each, which is restricted to a maximum of 20 overs.
3 “IPL 2016: Tournament reaches massive viewership of 335 million”, https://www.sportskeeda.com/cricket/ipl-2016-tournamentreaches-massive-viewership-335-million, May 20th 2016 (accessed date: October 8th 2016)
4 “IPL 2016 viewership may touch 500 million this year: Sony”, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/ipl/news/IPL-viewershipmay-touch-500-million-this-year-Sony/articleshow/51739009.cms, April 8th 2016 (accessed date: October 10th 2016)

Teaching Note Preview

Indian Premier League: A Controversially Successful Sporting Event

 

Synopsis

The present case study details on how IPL developed from being a sports event in 2008 to a glamorous event in 2016. It seeks to enable a discussion on understanding the role of marketing communications and how they change/evolve over time. Further it seeks to highlight the role of a synchronized marketing communication campaign for the success of an event. The role of support media and other tools in communication mix in creating synergy in the communication strategy as well as the issues relevant to event sponsorship is brought out by the case. Lastly, understanding the way sponsors react to success or failure of an event, how an event leads marketing at multiple levels and the role of Publicity and Public Relations in polishing the image of a brand are the concepts that would be analyzed.

Case Setting and Positioning

This case study is suited for discussion in courses like Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) in a Post Graduate Program in Business Management (MBA). The case study can also be effectively used for chapters on marketing environment and sales promotion in Marketing Management course in an MBA program.

The case study can also be taken up to teach/discuss Marketing Strategy, Brand Management and Sports Marketing in an Executive Education Program/MDP more specifically in event marketing. Students should have read Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and Customer Based Brand Equity (CBBE) model of Kevin L. Keller (2007).

Pedagogical Objectives

The case is structured in a manner so that the following learning objectives are fulfilled:

  • • Understanding the role of marketing communications and support media to analyze the role of a synchronized marketing communication campaign/communication strategy
  • • Issues relevant to event sponsorship and how sponsors react to success/failure of an event and to understand how an event leads marketing at multiple levels
  • • To understand the role of Customer Based Brand Equity and to analyze the role of Publicity and Public Relations in polishing the image of a brand

 

Prerequisite Conceptual Understanding/Before the Classroom Discussion

  • • Belch, G.E.; Belch, M.A. and Purani, K, “Advertising and Sales Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective”, (Special Indian Edition), New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill, 2011
  • • Keller, K.L, “Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity”, 3rd ed., Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River: New Jersey, 2007
  • • Kotler, P., Keller, K.L., Koshy, A. and Jha, M., “Marketing Management: A South Asian Perspective”, 13th Ed. New Delhi: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009
  • • Kevin Lane Keller, “Building Customer-Based Brand Equity: A Blueprint for Creating Strong Brands,” Marketing Management, 2001

 

Since the case is majorly focused on Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and Brand Management, the conceptual foundations discussed would require the students to have prior readings of some chapters/models of both subjects. In case the instructor would like to use this case in a Brand Management course, the students would be expected to come prepared after a reading of the Customer Based Brand Equity (CBBE) model of Kevin L. Keller (2007). The case could be used for multiple concepts in an IMC course. However, according to the case writers, the major focus would be on two concepts. The first one would be the general overview of communication tools in marketing. However, the case study has enough information on how event sponsorships could be used as an effective tool of communication. Lastly, the faculty may also decide to have considerable amount of discussion on the use of PR tools to revive the craze around IPL. In such case, the students would be required to prepare the chapter of the role of PR in marketing communications..............

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Abstract

The present case study is a descriptive case on the Indian Premier League (IPL) that started in 2008 as an initiative to promote cricket in India based on the T20 format. The case details on how IPL developed from being a sports event in 2008 to a glamorous event by 2016. Majorly meant for Marketing and Sports Marketing courses, the case provides details on issues of marketing strategies to promote the IPL as a sporting entertainment rather than only cricket. This case study traces the marketing strategies and the various related issues which took place over the last nine seasons of the tournament. The case discusses how the IPL was providing a win-win-win situation for the organizers, sponsors and the team franchises at the same time. However, the case ends with the question of the future of the tournament since it has been marred with player and owner level controversies, inconsistent viewership and sponsors.


Pedagogical Objectives

  • Understanding the role of marketing communications and support media to analyze the role of a synchronized marketing communication campaign/communication strategy
  • Issues relevant to event sponsorships and how sponsors react to success/failure of an event and to understand how an event leads marketing at multiple levels
  • To understand the role of Customer Based Brand Equity and to analyze the role of Publicity and Public Relations in polishing the image of a brand

Case Positioning and Setting
This case study is suited for discussion in courses like Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) in a Post Graduate Program in Business Management (MBA). The case study can also be effectively used for chapters on marketing environment and sales promotion in Marketing Management course in an MBA program.
The case study can also be taken up to teach/discuss Marketing Strategy, Brand Management and Sports Marketing in an Executive Education Program/MDP more specifically in event marketing.Students should have read Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and Customer Based Brand Equity (CBBE) model of Kevin L. Keller (2007).



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