The success of IPL Season 1 has set the stage for providing a viable platform for companies to get involved with cricket, thus adding value to sports marketing, which is a need of the hour, with Bollywood glamour thrown in for good measure. The countdown for the Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 2 began with the auction of players, which also highlighted the fact that the League is still hot property.
Led by Aussie Shane Warne, Rajasthan Royals has already reached breakeven point and has even started making profits. Of course it has helped that Dubai-based businessman Raj Kundra and actress Shilpa Shetty have picked up a 12 per cent stake in the team and are set to invest $15.4 million as part of a long term strategic approach to build Rajasthan Royals into a global sports development infrastructure and international expansion. The Rajasthan Royals campaign this time will revolve around the ‘Halla Bol Phir Se’ peg.
Defending champions Rajasthan Royals, which is owned by Emerging Media, is undertaking a 360-degree campaign route. Keeping in mind that last year all the franchisees had very little time for preparation, Rajasthan Royals is leaving no stone unturned this time.
The team will be launching five different types of content in Rajasthan, targeting not only young fans, but also kids and elderly fans. The plan is to explore every medium possible. However, the focus largely would be on outdoor activities, which would be centred in Rajasthan, for now. As part of its on-ground activities, the franchisee is holding contests wherein people can apply through forms available throughout retail outlets in the state. There will be SMS and mobile campaigns as well, while mobile hoardings will be put up in Jaipur. A special float will travel across Rajasthan, talking to the fans and encouraging them to take part in the contest.
Speaking to exchange4media, Utkarsh Singh, Head Business – Development, Rajasthan Royals, said, “We will be shooting a new video with Shilpa Shetty, which will be ready for launch around the middle of March. We will be partnering with television channels around Rajasthan Royals, besides launching our DVD on March 7, 2009. We are also rolling out CSR initiatives under the RR umbrella. Our memberships and our plan is to ensure that the opening ceremony in Jaipur is a sell-out. Hence, we are campaigning heavily for that in and around Jaipur.”
“We have got a full-fledged media plan right now and other mediums are also being explored. We are on Facebook, Orkut and even on SMS Gupshup. For the mobile viral campaign, we have tied up with SMS Gupshup. We will be also partnering with Mauj mobile for content,” Singh added.
Ogilvy & Mather continues to be the creative agency of Rajasthan Royals.
Singh also ruled out any drastic change in the marketing strategies. “However, this time there will be more emphasis on on-ground activities, which was not the case last year. In fact, in 2008, the team had relied mostly on mass media because of the short time given, nevertheless this time it would be a 360-degree campaign,” he added.
On the effects of the slowdown, Singh said, “There is no impact of slowdown here and neither have we cut down on our spendings. Our sponsor interest is at all time high, and while the number of people interested may be slightly lesser, we certainly have more engagement with potential sponsors this year than what we had last year.”
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