Life beyond cricket: Messi and Djokovic pull advertisers to soccer and tennis

16 Sep,2011

By Meenakshi Verma Ambwani


It turns out the grand success of the Lionel Messi show in an Argentina-Venezuela football friendly in Kolkata early this month was not an exception as new generation Indians and big advertisers chasing them increasingly turn to non-cricket sports such as soccer and tennis.


In the past three years, TV viewership for sports like soccer, wrestling, tennis, car and bike racing has been growing at high double digits, according to data from television rating agency TAM.


This has encouraged advertisers to spend on these sports like never before.


“Brands who want to reach out to the young and contemporary generation are looking to invest on sports like tennis and soccer,” says Madison Media CEO Ms Punitha Aurmugam, adding that cricket is expensive and full of brand clutter.


Media planners say big advertisers are spending an estimated 8-10% of their budgets on non-cricket sports, a massive improvement from just 3-4 years ago when all the focus was on cricket.


Ad spots on a tennis Grand Slam like Wimbeldon are sold at an estimated Rs 1.25-1.50 lakh per ten seconds, while English Premier League soccer matches command up to Rs 1 lakh and F1 races get Rs 75,000-1.25 lakh per ten seconds.


“Advertising revenues for premier sport events like Wimbledon or F1 have been growing 20-30% on an average,” says ESPN Software India Senior Director Business Development Mr Rathindra Basu.


Already, several corporates like Airtel, Venky’s, Mahindra & Mahindra and United Spirits are investing in sports like F1, soccer and Moto Grand Prix. “With Indian corporates involved in developing some of these sports there is a growing interest among consumers as well as advertisers,” says ZenithOptimedia Managing Partner Mr Sanjoy Chakrabarty.


The Kolkata football match that featured Messi on September 2 attracted as many eyeballs as a new serial does on its debut on a general entertainment channel. It garnered viewership rating, or TRP of 1.2 for males above the age of 15 in the top five metros as per TAM data. Media planners say it was impressive for a friendly match.


Broadcasters of non-cricket sports bet on subscription revenues to ensure returns. For instance, half a million Tata Sky households subscribed to Ten Action Plus-which shows about 500 matches of European soccer clubs a year-within a few days after the channel was made available on the DTH platform.



Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2011, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved


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