With a little over a month to go for Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 5, the various IPL franchise teams are gearing up for the big fight. However, with the Indian cricket taking a beating on international grounds of late, it would be quite a task for the IPL team owners to get the fans’ adrenaline flowing.
Delhi Daredevils is off the block with its campaign for this season with a new tagline – ‘Kasam Daredevils Ki’, promising a lot more aggression than the earlier tagline of ‘Khelo Front Foot Pe’. And this time, the team has roped in its most diehard fans as brand ambassadors, calling them ‘Super Fans’. The IPL franchise has launched its integrated marketing campaign leading up to the start of the tournament on April 4, 2012. A line of activities has also been planned for the matches that will be played in Delhi.
The campaign will be rolled out in three phases. The creative and digital mandate for Delhi Daredevils rests with Cheil Worldwide, while JCDeaux is the out-of-home agency. Fever FM is the official radio partner for Delhi Daredevils this season, while an on-ground partner is yet to be finalised.
Super Fans to bat for Delhi Daredevils
On getting on board its fans rather than celebrity endorsers, Hemant Dua, Marketing Head, GMR Sports, the owners of Team Delhi Daredevils, explained, “Fans are an integral part of any franchise – stakeholders in the success or failure of the team.” He added, “After a miserable season last year, it was paramount to revive the enthusiasm amongst the fans, to take their aspiration levels a notch higher. Thus, we thus thought about recruiting brand ambassadors who are an example in their own lives and can inspire fans to stand up for their team. These are achievers in the field of sports other than cricket, who have dared to go beyond imagination to achieve their dreams. All of them have an association with Delhi and we are proud of them. Our Super Fans would be an integral part of the whole campaign, which will be rolled out over the next one month.”
The four flag bearers of daredevilry signed on by Dehi Daredevils include India’s only IronMan athlete, Anuradha Vaidyanathan; the youngest Indian climber to summit three peaks beyond 8,000 m, including Mount Everest, Arjun Vajpai; India’s only ultramarathon runner, Arun Bhardwaj; and the only Indian woman to ski her way to South Pole, Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu.
“The Super Fans represent different sections of people in the society. While Arjun would inspire the youth, Reena is an inspiration for housewives, Anuradha represents the working women class and Arun stands on behalf of Central Government employees. Each of our Super Fans will use the ‘Kasam Daredevils Ki’ tagline to swear by the team and not leave any stone unturned in making the team win,” Dua further said.
Scoring with social media
Apart from enrolling Super Fans, GMR Sports is also making optimum use of social media to create buzz as part of the marketing campaign. Contests like ‘Predict Who’ and ‘Dare to Predict’ have already gained traction on Facebook and Twitter. A partnership with Indiatimes, the official online partner for IPL 5, is also in the offing. Radio and outdoor will also be used in a big way to engage with fans, while on-ground activations will form a major part of the campaign as well.
“Since the players are away right now and are expected to return only a few days before the tournament, we are still contemplating a television campaign right now,” informed Dua. The whole campaign will culminate at the stadium to take a pledge for the team to win. Without divulging the exact amount that would be spent on marketing this year, Dua shared that the budget was spread across mediums, with 15 per cent on social media, 30 per cent on outdoor, 30 percent on radio and the rest, that is, 25 per cent on BTL.
It may be recalled that Delhi Daredevils was the first franchise to start its theme café at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport last year. In a bid to expand the team properties and revenue base, GMR Sports has planned to launch Delhi Daredevils merchandise this year. The inventory would be sold online through a new website which is set to be launched soon. “Plans are in place to bring out 10-12 stock keeping units this year,” Dua divulged.
The main line-up of sponsors until now for the team includes Muthoot, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Panasonic, Kingfisher and Idea. In order to give higher visibility and greater return on investment to the brands, GMR Sports is also contemplating launching Fan Parks. Dua elaborated, “It would not be just about the logo presence. We plan to integrate our brand sponsors holistically in the campaigns. We are contemplating setting up Fan Parks, where fans and the public can come and enjoy the game on large screens with food and drinks. We would also use these locations to sell branded merchandise. The discussion on the first Fan Park is in advanced stages and we are determined to experiment the format this year. If it succeeds, we would have more Fan Parks next year.”