The Indian Premier League, one of the most popular events of the year in India, has millions of fans across the globe and will be the buzz for the coming month and a half. Radio for its part has been an integral part of the IPL extravaganza since its inception. From partnering with IPL teams, to giving match updates & match tickets, to doing on-ground activations etc. Radio has been finding innovating ways to fuel the nation’s passion for cricket.
The reason why Radio is such a perfect platform for IPL led promotions is that, Firstly, radio is a mass medium which helps in effectively reaching audiences across classes, Secondly, radio being a local medium suits the local format of IPL with regional teams playing against each other, Thirdly, from a point of view of the audiences, radio is the only medium they can access for match updates on the go, and Lastly, the biggest advantage that radio offers is inherent in its flexible and interactive nature. It’s the only platform which makes it so much easier for teams to directly connect with their fans, get up close and personal with them and truly engage the masses.
Some of Red FM’s own initiatives for Mumbai’s home team the Mumbai Indians stand testimony to the impact radio promotions can have on the popularity of a regional team. In the first year of IPL, Red FM launched a larger than life campaign which involved changing the brand color and ID to ‘Blue FM’ and taking out a procession on a double decker bus to prove their commitment to cricket and to the Mumbai Indians. By amplifying the message both through on-air and on-ground initiatives Red FM managed to amass support for the team and evoke passion amongst Mumbaikars. Even with the initial disappointing performance of the Mumbai Indians, by using a mess media vehicle like radio which is considered closest to the consumer, the team could successfully build a huge fan following in addition to creating a lot of buzz and excitement around the Mumbai Indian matches, followed by a series of wins in the last few matches which led them to becoming the ‘Most watched team of IPL!’.
Partnering with team for content syndications for cricket related content; contests, meet and greet with cricketers, etc. are some of the options available for marketers and media owners. But more than that, such partnerships help enhance the brand equity of the station by leveraging the secondary associations that the citizens have with their home teams, e.g. Red FM Mumbai’s association with the Mumbai Indians. For the teams in return, it proves to be a platform to ignite passion, build team sprit and a sense of belonging amongst their fans.
This year, as part of our dedication to providing the most exciting cricketing coverage for our listeners, we have partnered with Valuable Group which will be showing the matches in movie theatres across the country; in addition to that, we are also partners with the Mumbai Indians and will have a host of exciting initiatives both on-air and off-air to excite our listeners. After turning Blue and launching the biggest ever reality Ticket Yudh in the last two years, this year we are taking our initiative for the Mumbai Indians a step ahead with our Star jock Malishka becoming the 12th member of the team, with her own jersey and the works! So one can catch Malishka following the team’s every move and give her listeners the most up to date information and a sneak peak into their lives on and off the field. Besides this watch out for a lot of cricket led properties, content, prizes, merchandise and ofcourse match tickets to come.
(Nisha Narayanan is Senior Vice President, Red FM.)