Brand positioning through sporting events seems to have caught the fancy of spirits major UB Group, India’s leading liquor manufacturer. The company invests Rs 6-7 crore annually in various golf and football events, besides sponsoring teams. Alok Gupta, Senior Vice-president, Marketing, Spirits Division, says sponsoring golf and football tournaments not only helps in brand promotion but it also provides a good platform to interact directly with the consumer.
Elaborating further on the strategy, Gupta says particular sporting events are sponsored keeping the brand in mind. For instance, football being a sport for the masses, it is associated with McDowell’s No.1. “This product is targeted at the masses, hence the association with football helps in brand positioning and promotion. We also sponsor the Mohan Bagan football team every year,” Gupta explains.
But when it comes to a premium product like McDowell’s Signature, the group chooses golf. And golf events are sponsored round the year. As Gupta says, “McDowell’s Signature is positioned as a brand for the successful young who have created wealth by changing business paradigms, instead of just acquiring it. Hence, golf is the right fit for this brand.”
The liquor major is positioning the Signature brand in three ways. The first is by sponsoring golf events like McDowell's Signature Celebrity Golf and McDowell's Signature Club Golf Championship. Secondly, entertainment is being used as a promotional tool through the ongoing McDowell's Signature Theatre Fest and Championship. Lastly, the Signature Success Series sponsored by the group helps in brand positioning.
This year, the 3rd McDowell's Signature Club Golf Championship will tee off on October 16 at the Poona Golf Club, Pune, and Rambagh Golf Club, Jaipur. This mega club golf event from India will make an international debut with the final being played at Sri Lanka on December 12. Over 4,500 avid golfers from 30 golf clubs across 21 cities will vie for the top spot.
UB Group’s association with golf started in 2002 with 12 clubs in 6 cities and 1200 golfers. Responding to the group’s initiatives, eminent golfers like Irina Brar and Amit Luthra have participated in different events over the years, Gupta says.