Advertisers hooked on cricket World Cup

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on November 16, 2017

Big hit: Sony India plans to launch a new ad campaign featuringIndian skipper M.S. Dhoni

There is optimism surrounding the Cricket World Cup 2011 as advertisers make a beeline to advertise during the tournament, hoping to see the country win the title this time around.

According to officials at ESPN (the official broadcaster), on-air advertising is expected to fetch revenues to the tune of Rs 750 crore with two billion viewers across the world watching the matches being played amongst the top 14 cricketing nations. The country's sizeable population is expected to account for the biggest chunk of eyeballs and sponsors and advertisers are expected to pay rates that could go up to Rs 6.5 lakh for a 10-second slot on channels such as Star Sports, Star Cricket and ESPN for the India-specific matches.

“There are 5,100 seconds sold for every ODI on each of the three channels on which the World Cup will be aired. The bulk of the matches will be shown on the Hindi feed in Star Sports and Star Cricket along with ESPN. There are still a few days left for the World Cup to begin and we have already sold 90 per cent of these channels' inventory,” said an official at ESPN.

It is the co-presenting sponsors such as Sony Bravia, Vodafone and Hero Honda who have spent the most on this property. “Almost 30 per cent of the ad spends have been by the main sponsors such as Sony Bravia, Hero Honda and Vodafone,” said the ESPN official.

Sony campaign

Sony India has decided to unveil a new ad campaign for the Bravia brand of television featuring captain M.S. Dhoni. “Cricket is the most popular sport in India and is the best way to connect with the Indian audience. This year, India has got the opportunity to co-host the biggest cricketing event and by associating with it we plan to bank on the excitement and energy that the event is expected to create in the country,” says Mr Tadato Kimura, General Manager, Marketing, Sony India.

Sony will be the ‘on air' broadcast sponsor on ESPN Star Sports for the Cup and will carry out extensive marketing promotions to reach out to its target audience. “We expect tremendous growth in sales of our Bravia TVs,” he adds. Another big spender and co-presenting sponsor, Vodafone, is also gearing up for the World Cup. Ms Anuradha Aggarwal, Vice-President, Brand Communications, Vodafone, says that it expects to reach out to its target audience through the World Cup.

ESPN has paid over Rs 1,000 crore to bag the ICC Cricket World Cup rights. This year, there would be 49 matches with India being one of the hosts (29 matches) along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh beginning on Februray 19 in Dhaka and ending on April 2 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

According to Ms Basabdatta Choudhury, COO, Madison Media Plus, “Unlike IPL which is a more stable platform, the World Cup is about India's fortunes. There has been a 100 per cent escalation in rates compared with the previous World Cup as India is hosting some of the matches and Team India is on a high. Clients have made a calculated risk and the upside is that India has chances of making it to the semi-final unlike the previous World Cup. Packages have been sold to clients and the sponsors have paid Rs 3.5 lakh for 10 seconds.''

But media planners are of the opinion that only the India-specific matches are likely to command higher rates and most of the non-India matches would fetch rates at less than Rs 1 lakh per 10 seconds. “It is the optimism that drives the price. This time round clients are hopeful that India will reach the finals,” observes Mr Amit Ray, President, Lintas Media Group.

In fact, media buyers are also advising clients not to miss out on this lucrative property. “We are advising clients to go in for sponsorships and bulk deals rather than spot buys. This is an opportunity that they should not lose out on,'' says Mr Ashish Bhasin, Chairman, India & CEO, South East Asia, Aegis Group, which handles the Philips account, an associate sponsor for the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Published on January 31, 2011

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