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Last Updated : May 17, 2019 05:02 PM IST | Source:

Brands to broadcast: A look at the size of the Indian market for the ICC World Cup

Indian brands that are on board include Dream11, Royal Stag, Bira 91, Britannia Industries, Bengaluru-based sports business company Gaames and MRF Tyres.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam
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Todays L/H

The 12th edition of the ICC World Cup is around the corner and brands are missing no chance to get associated with the tournament.

In fact, as many six Indian brands have lined up as the commercial partners for the sporting event out of twenty, taking India's share to 30 percent in the total mix.

Participation from Indian brands in the last two World Cup editions have not been as prominent as this year.

In 2011, there were two home-grown companies (Reliance Communications and Hero MotoCorp, then Honda Motors Ltd) out of 10 and in 2015, there was only Reliance in the mix of eight brands for the tournament.

This year the Indian brands that are on board include Dream11, Royal Stag, Bira 91, Britannia Industries, Bengaluru-based sports business company Gaames and MRF Tyres.

Talking to Moneycontrol, Shrenik Gandhi, chief executive officer and co-founder, White Rivers Media, said, “More than 90 percent cricket World Cup viewership comes from the Indian sub-continent. India being one of the leading Meccas in the sense of places from where the viewership is coming. Hence, World Cup is absolutely important."

"I think it is a great perception game where I see an Indian brand sponsoring a global World Cup. My perception about the brand will increase mani-fold. But if I see my favorite brand sponsoring a global event that I am following I would love to buy more of that brand. The fact that it comes once in four years I believe that the demand is much higher than the supply,” he added. 

But India's association with the World Cup goes beyond sponsorships. The global media rights for the tournament is with Star India-owned Star Sports. Star Sports bagged the broadcast rights of all ICC events in 2014 for an eight-year cycle between 2015 and 2023.

The network is optimistic about the World Cup and has reportedly sold around 60 percent of its ad inventory, hoping to take it up by 90 percent. Star is expecting to earn around Rs 1,000 crore in ad revenues from the World Cup.  

But this year brands have to focus on sequential storytelling, said Gandhi. "This has been the buzz word in the last one year. For example, if you reach out to a set of 100 users with story A, if 50 users interacted with your story A then you should reach out to these 50 with another story and not with the same story. That is intelligent marketing. World Cup will give exposure to brands but how sequential storytelling will be used that will be the game changer. If you consider one-size fits all then you are not doing marketing for 2019," he said.

Gandhi thinks brands should also take note take note of personalised streaming.

"One has to consider television as a public medium and over the top platforms (OTT) as a private theatre. If a brand is speaking to me on television it has to speak to me one to two, if a brand is speaking to me on Hotstar it has to speak to me one-to-one. There is a fine line and if a brand can master that then it can send their communication right," he explained.  

He added that "subtle, seamless integration” will be another trend to watch out for.

"Gone are the days when you saw a cricketer blatantly endorsing a product. If seamless integration is coupled with sequential storytelling then the brand is in for a great game," he added.

The recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) has cemented the fact that digital medium is catching up in terms of viewer engagement. And more and more brands are opting to advertise on the medium.

Brands are using the digital medium for better effectiveness and realisation hence, the online medium has become a lucrative advertising platform.

"If not the main platform, digital should be considered parallel and very important," said Gandhi.  

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First Published on May 17, 2019 04:56 pm
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