With the cricket season setting the tone for the year in India – the retailers are in a brilliant form and playing their best innings to capture the attention of fans (customers) across the country.
There is an influx of ads in print and electronic space at the time of any tournament, with promotional events, ad campaigns, associations and partnerships ahead of an important series or game are on a mercurial rise.
Making Best Use of Gentleman’s Game
Nike, a forerunner in the sports’ ads space, came up with an interesting campaign. Iconic athletes, artists and sports fans captured by photographer Bharat Sikka, shared their #Bleedblue stories across India. Visionary Indians including actress Deepika Padukone, Vikas Khanna, Celebrity Chef and Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev, were seen telling the world their “#Bleedblue” stories.
The photographer Sikka captured in a series of candid pictorials the progression and passion of a nation behind sport, cricket and the Indian team. In India, blue means cricket. It expresses the allegiance of India’s one billion fans as the national team takes centre stage in Australia.
The campaign suggests that once solely a symbol of elite athletes, Team India’s “Blue” has come to represent the passion and dedication of everyone who is willing to work hard, make sacrifices and do whatever it takes to make the most of their potential.
The brand invited people from all genres to share their “Bleed blue” stories on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with a hashtag and garnered a response like none other.
Amul, on the other hand, with their hilarious ads on the recently concluded World Cup has yet again captured the imagination of the nation. “India, Jeet Te Raina!” (After winning from the Pakistan team, the match whose stakes were really high,) and “Cricket Ya Gaylee Danda” (On one of Gayle’s performances,) they were indeed spot on with their puns around some of the best moments in the Cricket World Cup 2015.
The passion has engulfed the eCommerce players as well. ShopClues.com, India’s first and largest managed marketplace too became the official e-commerce partner of the Chennai Super Kings. The tie-up with the leading team will provide a robust edge to the ShopClues.com brand identity during the IPL season which kicks off on 8th April, 2015.
Speaking on the association, Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer, ShopClues.com said, “Our marketplace caters to mass India and there is nothing that appeals more to our target market than cricket. Keeping this undisputable truth in mind, we chose to partner with CSK which has been the best performing team in the Indian Premier League. Through this association, we wish to leverage the combined brand synergies to create greater engagement with our customers, both existing and potential.”
Considering the ongoing craze around the sporting events among cricket enthusiasts, the online store, The Yellow Door (theyellowdoorstore.com), has introduced a host of cricket products such as Cricket Bar Set, Cricket Clocks, Bar stools, Side stools, Coasters and TV consoles, and Stands designed around World's favourite sport.
As Creative As It Can Get
Lowe Lintas created this year’s World Cup campaign for Star, #Wewontgiveitback, which reflected the nation’s attitude and mood for the cup. Announcing the initiatives, Star India COO Sanjay Gupta had earlier said, “The World Cup is the biggest event for Indian consumers. The last edition was watched by 90 per cent of TV viewers in the country, making it the largest aggregation of consumers possible. With India as the defending champions, the whole country is set to follow the team’s defence of its title in Australia and New Zealand and we, at Star, plan to make this World Cup, a ‘Cup for All’.”
Similarly, ESPN launched an online store for ESPNCricinfo, Shop.ESPNcricinfo.com, by way of tying up with Velocity Brand Management’s retail company headquartered in Australia. The shop has a T20, IPL, World Cup section and sells through its website jerseys, memorabilia, equipment and accessories and ships the products to India.
Sidharth Ghosh, Vice President at psLive, the experiential marketing division from the Dentsu Aegis Network, spoke about how these advertisements per say acts as a highly impactful medium to effectively communicate the brand message resulting in higher recall among target consumers. “India is a cricket crazy nation and hence brands look forward to capitalise on this format since the reach is extremely high. There are multiple opportunities available in this medium for brands.”
India is sure a cricket crazy nation, and with a number of cricket tournaments lined up ahead in the year, the slew of ads and associations are only going to go up. Retailers are cashing in on this because Cricket is India’s ‘unofficial’ national sport, and anything around it would sell like hot cakes.