- 206 million fans watched India vs Pakistan cricket match.
- Brands such as Samsung, Uber, Amazon and many more spending big on ads.
The biggest festival of Cricket is going on and in a cricket crazy nation such as India, the enthusiasm is an all-time high. Most of the big brands are seeing this an opportunity to cash in on a mania that is mashing viewing records in the world’s biggest market for the sport.
Approximately 1.5 billion fans are expected to watch the tournament across the globe, which is 15 times more than the audience if Super Bowl of American Football.
From tech giants Samsung Electronics to snacks maker Mondelez to ride-hailing app Uber, brands are banking on television, radio and online campaigns, as well as live fan events, to woo cricket frenzy consumers.
Shashi Kumar, a 34-year-old in the tech hub of Bengaluru said, “ We might have a lot of religions, but cricket is the biggest one which unites the country and brings the people together”.
Analysts have stated that the surge in ad spending during this 6-week tournament that runs until 14th July can shoot up consumer demand and help India’s economy get out of the slowest period of growth in 4 years.
“No brand would want to miss this crazy opportunity”, highlighted Vinita Pachisia, senior VP at Carat India, part of Dentsu Aegis Network.
Tapping the Cricket Frenzy Nation
Cricket being a niche sport receives participation from 10 countries against 79 countries in FIFA Soccer World Cup, Cricket’s following in the Indian subcontinent means companies allot about half of their marketing budget to the World Cup.
Four years ago, 635 million watched Cricket World Cup 2015, mainly on television, as online streaming was in its early stage in the subcontinent. More than 800 million Indians are expected to watch as estimated by sponsors and media buyers.
Among all the matches, the most anticipated one between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on 16th June recorded 206 million fans tuning in to official broadcaster Star Network to watch India win.
One of the important factors is due to time difference matches start later in India and run through the prime time and the tournament format allowing favorite teams to stay till knockouts.
Another important factor is a recent success under captain Virat Kohli and greater television and internet access. It has pushed advertising rates up by 40 percent to 60 percent from 4 years ago.
Strategies for fans
Brands are targeting Fans through their events, fan zones, and giveaways.
Smartphone makers Samsung are giving away Amazon Echo with high-end TV sets. The company said, their sales of big screen TV sets have doubled in the month before the tournament began”.
Uber which is operating in eight World Cup playing nations, ran a contest offering tickets to the games in Britain as prizes, whole the makes of Cadbury Chocolates launched a special variety.
E-commerce giant Amazon launched “World Cup Mania” sale while its rival Flipkart Inc. offered discounts on televisions, and its digital payments unit Phone Pe is running promotions online.
They estimate this year’s advertising spend of more than $400 million will be nearly double of 2015.
These were the few examples of brands going all out to capitalize on this massive opportunity. With India performing brilliantly till now, the advertisements can go up for sure.
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