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SET may sign 9 brands as associate sponsors for IPL
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NEW DELHI: Even as the home ministry has raised objections on the revised schedule for Indian Premier League (IPL), broadcaster SET Max has managed to close some of its associate sponsors deals for on-air advertisements. The company, which has the broadcast rights for the domestic cricket league, is expected to sign eight to nine brands as associate sponsors.

Coca-Cola, Airtel digital television, Vodafone and Havells have become associate sponsors, said a senior executive with SET, who didn’t wish to be quoted. He added that besides these firms, SET has received commitment from another three-four companies to become substantial advertisers for IPL, though these deals have not been inked yet.

Car maker Hyundai and Max New York Life Insurance confirmed that they will be substantial advertisers for IPL, but it is not clear whether they will be associate sponsors. When contacted, Max New York Life executive vice- president (marketing) Anisha Motwani, said: “At this stage, I can only say that we are going to be a substantial sponsor for IPL.” SET is also negotiating with other firms such as LG, Samsung, ITC and Godrej.

Most of these sponsors are looking to break specific campaigns on IPL. Electrical products maker Havells, which has an annual advertising budget of Rs 70-80 crore, will spend atleast Rs 30 crore on IPL. “We are foraying into industrial products and want to break our campaign on IPL to reach out to our target audience,” said Havells joint managing director Anil Gupta. He added that as long as IPL is organised in the same season, the sponsorship deal will stand.

“If the dates are rejigged to an extent that there could be three matches a day, then the number of ad spots available during prime time would reduce, which could create a problem,” Mr Gupta said. SET Max executive VP and business head Sneha Rajani said: “We have closed some deals and hope to sign 8-9 brands as associate sponsors.”

Meanwhile, the ministry of home affairs on Friday said the league would have to reschedule match dates for the second time because many regional governments had said they would find it tough to spare security forces who would be busy due to the poll.

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