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Brandscore 2007: ‘Creating icons and heroes is the only way to develop sports’

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Brandscore 2007: ‘Creating icons and heroes is the only way to develop sports’

Brandscore, the sports marketing forum conducted together by ESPN-STAR Sports and Mindshare, explored areas like investments in sports – debunking myths, building brands; and understanding the role of media in the development and upbringing of sports in the global per se.

Mike Rich, MD, Mindshare Performance, APAC, and the company’s Marketing Director, Jamie Lord together in a presentation debunked myths pertaining to the business of sports world over. According to them, a lot of people believed that sports was something that wasn’t measurable, it was meant only for men, was expensive, and also it was about visibility and not about emotional connect.

Rich explained tools like ‘Oscar’, which measures value of branded content versus a 30-second spot electronic media, and ‘Radius’, which is a digitalised form of brand exposure where each brand can be captured during the live sport coverage. He emphasised on the need for investors to define international awareness and deliver ‘must see content’. “360-degree activation is a key to successful sponsorship that dramatically improves effectiveness,” he said.

While Phill Lines, Head of International Broadcasting and Media Operations, FA Premier League, talked about the success story of his brand, while Bruce Bale, Chief Executive, Bruce Bale, explained the importance of investing small, but surely, in the business of sports branding.

In a panel discussion on the role of media in encouraging other forms of sports in the country, the seminar had eminent speakers like Ayaz Memon, Sunil Lulla, Pradeep Magazine and R Mohan. The panellists talked about what is being done to promote sports in the country, and what could be done to popularise sports like hockey and tennis.

Commenting on the role of media, Ayaz Memon emphasised on creating heroes. He said, “Sports is about heroism. If you don’t have heroes, you will not have followers, and that is where the media has to step in,” he explained.

Lulla emphasised on educating people, and making them aware on various aspects of sports. Adding to Memon’s point, he said, “Heroes can only be created by having grass root facilities and infrastructure, and investments in India should flow in considerably on other forms of sports, apart from cricket.”

Mohan pointed that that the media should carefully select content that would help generate awanreness about a sport. “Content on the lifestyles of celebrity sportsmen would remain, but there should also be insightful content on the game, its loopholes, and necessary requirements for its development,” he pointed out.

Talking on what the print domain was doing on promoting sports, Memon said that television had a serious impact on print, and that print reporters had a challenge to take a stance in that regards.

The discussion ended as the panel came to a conclusion that creating ‘icons and heroes’ was the only way to develop sports, and for that, a lot of grass root activities have to be developed.


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