What makes the World Cup a win-win

09 Feb,2015


By Vinit Karnik


Vinit Karnik

The countdown to this year’s biggest sporting spectacle, the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup 2015 is drawing near and more than a billion hearts are pinning their hopes on Team India winning the Cup that counts this time too. This edition of the tournament to be jointly co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, promises to be much bigger than previously held editions of the tournaments. For advertisers and brands, this will be 2015’s biggest moneyspinner and provide an opportunity to jump on the brand bandwagon in order to reach their audiences and there is a lot that one needs to watch out for during this year.


Advertisers on ground and on air:

Traditionally we all have been used to seeing on ground sponsors taking sponsorship slots on air as well. But there is all likelihood that we might see a change in this strategy during this World Cup. On-ground ICC partners that are ‘evolve’ brands may look at the digital media environment and surround content to effectively engage with their respective target audience. This might give way to new and emerging categories like e-commerce and newer brand launches to take the television route to gain visibility.


Linear TV:

Official broadcaster Star India will air the World Cup in six languages in Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada, apart from English and Hindi – making it far more inclusive than any other sporting tournament on television. The network has revamped its programming around the World Cup across platforms in a manner presenting brands opportunities to associate with the tournament at various levels. While brands with deeper pockets will definitely look at investing at the national level, smaller brands who could previously not associate with the World Cup, will be able to put in their money at the regional level thus targeting their markets specifically. The strategy of using geo-targeting will allow local brands to avoid spillover. The network has taken a step to broadcast select matches in 4K or Ultra High Definition production ensuring a change in the television viewing quality habits for the better.


Surround Content:

Lot of surround content around cricket will be a part of channel programming. This will be pre-/post-match analysis by cricket experts, celebrities, social influencers and fans. Surround content will also extend itself to digital medium for convenience of viewing anytime anywhere. The commentary panel will feature 13 World Cup captains, 20 World Cup winners and 26 World Cup semi-finalists. The likes of Allan Border, Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Mark Waugh, Graeme Smith, Ian Botham, Rahul Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar, Saurav Ganguly among others will be sharing their expert insights and analyses.


Social Layer:

The dynamic social media space will be hyperactive around World Cup with live and non-live action. Cricket experts, ex-players, celebrities, social influencers and fans will keep the conversations active all the time. We may see advertisers effectively leveraging this trend and stay relevant through the World Cup. User- and fan-generated humour content is to be watch out for including pre- and post-match reviews this World Cup. Most of the trends on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter will be dominated by the World Cup.


World Cup Format:

Team India’s fitness concerns are not going to be much of a concern. Two pools of seven teams will be playing in a round-robin format. The top four teams from each pool will proceed to the knock-out stage of the tournament, which will comprise quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final. Unless an extremely massive upset takes place, this format will almost ensure all top teams play in the quarter-finals. This will definitely keep the viewers and advertiser interest alive at least this stage of the World Cup.


Vinit Karnik is National Director, GroupM ESP


Image courtesy: ICC


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