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Brandscore 2007: Of sports viewership and the antidote to fragmentation

20-August-2007
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Brandscore 2007: Of sports viewership and the antidote to fragmentation

Brandscore, the sports marketing forum conducted together by ESPN Star Sports and Mindshare, evaluated the Indian stickiness with sports, and discussed ‘The Antidote to Fragmentation’. While LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM India, spoke about the ‘stickiness’ among Indian sports viewers, and the need to inculcate drama in sports, Sean Jefferson, CEO, Mindshare Performance, Europe, gave seven principles on how to cope with the fragmenting media and sports arena.

At the beginning of his presentation, Krishnan said that the share of the sports genre in terms of its viewership was at a decline, and that it only rose when India played cricket. Further in his comparison of sports channels with the general entertainment channels, he cited that the daily soaps had better stickiness as compared to sports of any form, except for a few India-Pakistan cricket matches that ate up some share of viewership from other genre of channels.

On the demographic front, Krishnan elaborated that even though sport was perceived to be skewed towards men, women had a considerable share of 35 per cent out of the total viewership of sports channels in India. He also pointed that the news channels were playing a significant role in promoting cricket, which ultimately helped the game increase its share within the sports genre.

“There is not much drama in sports, and this is what is resulting in a lower share of stickiness,” explained Krishnan. Further elaborating his point, he said that drama could be in various forms like that of a protagonist, a commentator, on-field verbals, heroism, hype, media coverage, etc. At the end of his presentation, Krishnan left his audience with TVCs like those of Sony MAX and Cadbury, which created drama for cricket in India.

Jefferson took over from Krishnan, and explained how important it was for sports marketers to understand its fragmentation, its power, and how to have a winning solution that would drive both viewership and revenue. He said, “With the increase in fragmentation and ad avoidance, there could be a rise in the prices of live and large communal experiences. Large brands have utilised the sports arena well, and have exponentially driven revenues.” He further explained that sports fragments into micro-communities and bring people together.

Jefferson also emphasised on the need for marketers to understand similarities and differences among consumers, and embrace the new era of audio-visual entertainment. “Think like an entertainer, engage people by giving them experiences and not just shooting messages, let them make their own communities, and put your brand in the midst of the popular culture, and you will see the results,” he explained.

Jefferson concluded that it was imperative for marketers to look at the impact of whatever they do, rather than looking at the outcome that is insignificant to what already had been done.

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