Not to be left out of the football mania, corporate India is paying Rs 40 crore for advertisements during the FIFA World Cup.
This is five times the money spent in the last World Cup. As many as 18 companies bought ad spots in the first week of the carnival, compared to 22 last time.
The major sponsors include Coke, Airtel, Motorola, Indian Oil, Adidas, and HDFC Standard Life Insurance, according to Adex India, a division of TAM Media Research.
The reasons for the jump in ad spend this time are many. Lakshmi Narasimhan, national director, central trading group, Group M (a leading media buyer), says, “The FIFA rights in 2002 were with Ten Sports, which launched itself with the World Cup, and hence distribution was still not in place. That apart, Ten did not really have the time to sell spots as compared to ESPN, which had enough time to go all out in terms of advertising sales.”
Moreover, there is an emerging belief that if an international sporting event is well-marketed and positioned, it manages to build a critical mass of eyeballs.
Also, the timing of the matches this time makes for convenient viewing in India, as against in 2002 when matches were scheduled in the wee hours. As per industry estimates, the ESPN rates are in the Rs 40,000-50,000 range for a 10-second spot, which is about 8 times the rate charged last time.
As for the active categories out to lure viewers, while TV sets, soft drinks, two-wheelers, and cars/jeeps have made their presence felt in both FIFA ‘02 and ‘06, those such as cellular phone services, corporate brand image, life insurance, automotive fuel, software, and social advertisements are the new entrants in FIFA ‘06.
Companies that have advertised in both the world cups are Hero Honda and Mirc Electronics; interestingly, both have increased their spends in FIFA '06 by 100 per cent.