The e-commerce marketing wars in India are heating up. After Amazon and Flipkart had sparred over Flipkart’s #AcchaKiya campaign, and Flipkart and Snapdeal CEOs had a war of words on twitter, Paytm has entered the fray, and how. In a mega 203 crore deal, Paytm has bagged sponsorship rights to all BCCI matches till 2019.
Paytm started off as a recharge platform, but pivoted into an e-commerce site earlier this year. “We are delighted at becoming the title sponsors for all BCCI India cricket series for the next four years. We firmly believe the partnership with cricket in India will help establish us even further as the dominant mobile commerce company in the country. As a growing brand which has big plans for a billion strong Indians, there is no platform better than cricket in India.”, said Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
Paytm clearly has its eyes on the Indian ecommerce pie, which is currently dominated by Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal. Being a late entrant, Paytm realizes it needs to do something dramatic to catch the attention of the fickle Indian consumer.
Paytm, which has yet to turn a profit, is backed China’s Alibaba group, which holds a 25% stake in the company. There are rumours that Alibaba is looking to increase this stake to up to 40%, which would value the company at $3.7 billion.
The deal gives Paytm sponsorship rights to all 84 Indian home cricket matches up to 2019. In addition to this, the Ranji trophy will be renamed as the “Paytm Ranji Trophy”. With this deal, Paytm joins illustrious predecessors like Sahara, Pepsi and ITC in sponsoring the Indian cricket team.
Other ecommerce players have also dabbled in TV sponsorships, with Snapdeal having sponsored television reality shows like BigBoss, Roadies, and SplitsVilla, and Flipkart being a sponsor of the current season of the Kabaddi League.