IPL, or Indian Premier League, is one of the most celebrated T20 formats in the sport of cricket all across the globe. A recent study reveals that 61% of IPL viewers watch matches on their smartphones, and 70% of the total viewers keep regular checks on their phones for match updates, social media interactions, commentary, etc. 

Xiaomi leads the mobile market share with 26.42% of people owning their smartphones in India as of March 2022. Following the pack, other smartphone OEMs like Vivo (title sponsor of IPL previously), Oppo, Realme, OnePlus, and Huawei have dominated the Indian market since smartphones’ inception, bridging India’s population with its digital divide. Korean mobile manufacturer Samsung holds 17.49% of India’s total smartphone market share, followed by others mentioned above. 

As per the latest IPL app marketing report by AppsFlyer, the biggest industry focus for mobile marketers during the IPL is education, entertainment, finance, food & drink, and gaming apps. Bidding on IPL ad slots within live streaming of the event might not be the best choice for mobile app advertisers if it is planned to work out, particularly in the initial stages of user acquisition whereas mobile OEMs can provide a grand alternative to meet your marketing campaign’s goals. 

Due to the global pandemic hitting India for the second time in 2021, the teams played the second half of the IPL Season 14 in the United Arab Emirates, the first time this happened in the game’s history. The Economic Times reported that mobile advertisers saw a sudden drop in the ratings compared to the first half of the game played in India. 

What this means for mobile app advertisers 

This year’s IPL advertising sales have crossed 530 million USD approx, with streaming platforms like Disney+Hotstar expected to increase their ad revenue by 25% as the number of matches being played in IPL 2022 has risen by 20%. During the IPL season, there is a massive surge in the launch and promotion of apps falling in the sports and gaming category specifically. In addition, sports apps such as MPL and Dream11 are considered two of the top advertisers in this category during IPL for brand promotional activities and user acquisition campaigns. 

With such market saturation, it means more time and toils for app developers to place their bets on advertising their mobile apps in such noisy markets. 

How sports apps can leverage mobile OEMs during the IPL season  

App advertisers can leverage an alternate channel mix to boost their brand campaigns with Mobile OEMs such as Vivo, which has even bagged the title sponsorship for IPL from 2016 to 2019 and then in 2021

IPL is the most significant event for mobile apps, specifically in the sports and gaming category, to engage large audiences and gain traffic. However, you don’t need to look further to reach millions of people while keeping the budget in mind. Smartphone OEMs dominate the Indian market with an untapped inventory where advertisers can make a move to harness their ads in the peak IPL season which is completely brand-safe and fraud-free.  

OEMs provide a significant untapped inventory with more than 1.5 billion daily active users for advertisers to acquire new users interested in downloading their mobile app or similar apps in the sports category. 

Why sports app advertisers should benefit from Smartphone OEMs during IPL  

The speed and relevance of ad and marketing campaigns have become increasingly important. Smartphones have connected users to sports apps so much that it is imperative for apps in this category to deliver their ad campaigns and get the most out of these campaigns to meet the campaign goals. 

Gamezy, one of AVOW’s clients in the sports category took a step forward by placing their bet on smartphone OEMs and this is what Minhaz Hazarika, their Director of Digital Marketing has to say about Gamezy’s journey with AVOW – 

“IPL is an important season for app developers like us to reach out to the larger masses. Standing out from the crowd during this peak season is a big challenge. However, with the help of AVOW and their Mobile OEM partnerships, we were able to tap into new users all across the country,” 

Some of the top advantages for mobile marketers to consider advertising sports apps with OEMs during the peak IPL season – 

  • With OEM app advertising, you can leverage an exclusive app store featuring per day and specific dates with multiple ad formats such as video ads, rewarded ads, native ads, and banner ads with unique ad placements.
  • Get exclusive screen takeovers with splash ads so you can show the best of your sports app on the entire smartphone screen in a video format to create instant brand awareness and interest among users. 
  • Make way for Appographic Targeting to help you promote your app to users with similar interests beyond category and ownership to elevate your app install rates.
  • OEMs offer customized push notifications for targeting high-value users during the IPL season to enable app discovery as there is 72.71% YoY growth for gaming apps.
  • Explore PMP deals at private marketplaces (PMPs) with OEMs where you can bid on suggested inventories for a specific time period such as the peak IPL season to get the best out of your user acquisition campaigns. 


Smartphone OEMs provide a mix of diverse outstanding alternatives than live streaming ads during the IPL cricket matches, which can cost more than Rs. 1 crore for a 30-second slot to really get the ROAS you aim to reach. With OEMs, sports app advertisers can create and cater to various audiences that have more reach and improve their chance of visibility and gaining users.  Therefore, smartphone OEMs should be on every mobile marketer’s radar and considered an integral part of their mobile marketing strategy.