Telecom major Hutch believes in being a ‘sport’, and to make this intent clear, it has associated itself with sponsorship of several sporting events. Not only did Hutch make much noise about its sponsorship of the Delhi Half Marathon, it also supports the Jaipur Sirmur Cup, a premier Polo event.
In addition to this, Hutch promotes sky diving, trick riding and show jumping with the Army Equestrian Display regularly, in addition to being seeing as the lead sponsor for cricket matches.
Commenting on the association with sports, Naveen Chopra, Corporate Vice-President-Group Marketing, Hutchison Essar, said, “There are two parts to this entire initiative. One is our sponsorship of cricket and cricketing activities as cricket is the only unifying factor in India that cuts across SECs and gender and this is what are target audience is. Thus, there are the right reasons for us to be associated with cricket. It is also quite a cost effective way for saliency for the brand. Having said that, though Rahul Dravid is our brand ambassador, we don’t use him for all announcements. We avail of his services only when absolutely necessary.”
“We have also taken on the Indo-Pak ODI series’ sponsorship and it will be called The Hutch Cup. Thus, on the second part, when we began to look at sporting activities, we zeroed on the areas where we can connect with our customers with the best possible sports,” Chopra added.
He further said, “As in many parts of the world, Polo is a popular sport in India too. Thus, we have sponsored the Jaipur Sirmur Cup. And with Rugby as a sport, we have more of a partnership than mere sponsorship, where we encourage a complete plan for the sport and we feel that this sport will probably over a period of time have a steady progress,” Chopra said.
With the expansion in footprints in Goa and Maharashtra, Hutch has taken on the Goa Football League’s sponsorship too. Sports is a way of sharing the passion of the customers and television is not passive viewing any more, and with it becoming much more interactive, mobile is a natural choice.
Thus, Hutch’s association with sports make a suitable partnership. Chopra asserted, “We get the local connect with the sponsorship of other sporting events and theatre and get national connect with cricket.” This looks like a complete win-win situation for sports as a genre and Hutch as well.