Indian sports marketing offers football opportunity

Purvita Chatterjee reviewed the growth of sports marketing companies in India and noticed their interest was not only on cricket and hockey. Writing for The Hindu, he commented that even advertising and media agencies have begun to give sports promotions an extra push, drawing their strengths from the international experience of their parent companies.

While launching its new sports marketing and communication division, Ogilvy Sport, Pratap Bose, CEO, O&M India, said, "Ogilvy Sport will be a professionally-run sports marketing outfit. Being part of the Ogilvy network gives it access to cutting-edge marketing tools and the expertise of new media in the digital space. Fusing the Ogilvy Sports expertise with this knowhow allows the usage of new platforms for innovative activations." While cricket continues to dominate in India (with MNC brands such as Pepsi taking the lead), there are other forthcoming events such as the upcoming Commonwealth Games in 2010, which is drawing more advertising and media agencies into the fray. Ogilvy Sport has already bagged Zee Sport as its first client and will be helping the channel in building the game of football.

"Sports marketing in this country has till now been restricted to player management — be it endorsements or columns. It has always focussed on the individual player or at best marketing sponsorship platforms on existing sports properties (read cricket)," said Atul Hegde, Vice-President, Vyas Giannetti Creative. " Marketers have completely ignored the fact that gradually the interest in sports is spreading, the biggest indicator being the growing popularity of other sports, be it F1, soccer or tennis. While it will still be sometime till it catches up with cricket, what is interesting is that there is a lot more consumption of other sports today, be it watching or active participation. But, unfortunately, all that gets marketed is cricket-related properties. This for us was an opportunity waiting to be tapped.''