Sports marketing forum Brandscore, a joint initiative of ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) and Mindshare, saw eminent speakers talk about various issues pertaining to sports branding in India and abroad. The objective behind the forum was to present to clients and media organisations the uniqueness that sports as a property offered.
ESS intends to make this an annual event. When asked whether there were any plans to take this idea forward to other mediums to involve more clients and media agencies, R C Venkateish, MD, ESPN Software India, said, “We have not thought this out to that extent, but it is a possibility.”
“The idea is to communicate that sports genre has certain qualities that other genres can’t offer, and in some cases, they can meet brand objectives better than any other medium,” he added.
The event comprised two panel discussions and 10 individual presentations that explored the means to build and maintain successful brands in the business of sports. The speakers shared their experiences, gave insightful examples of successful brands, and discussed the role media in building a strong platform for the development of sports in the country.
The morning session saw speakers like David Magliano, Director of Marketing, London’s bid for Olympics 2012, who gave the entire case study on how London presented its case to the International Olympics Committee to be voted as the host country for 2012, and what worked in its favour.
Following Magliano, who made one of the best presentations at the event, Jamie Davis, Managing Director, ESPN-STAR Sports Asia, took the audience through the various initiatives that the organisation has undertaken in a country like India through its thee brands ESPN, STAR Sports and the recently launched Star Cricket.
Rajiv Kapoor, Executive Vice-President and General Manager – Marketing, Visa International – Asia Pacific, brought the advertiser’s point of view on the challenges and opportunities that sports associations presented to a brand, and how associations could make all the difference from sales to marketing objectives, and that at times the risks could backfire as well. But if planned well, in the long run sports could yield results.
Santosh Desai, Managing Director, and CEO, Future Brands, spoke about sports in India and the mindsets of Indian consumers when it came to watching sports. In a style unique to him, Desai almost performed an autopsy on cricket and sports per se, and on what elements of this genre made the difference to the viewer.
His presentation was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Sports and the Indian Advertisers’. Anirban Blah, Globosport; GroupM COO, South Asia, Vikram Sakhuja; Rahul Welde, GM, Media, HUL; and Sandeep Tiwari, Marketing Head LG were in the panel.
The post lunch session saw L V Krishnan, CEO TAM India, give an audio-visual presentation on the stickiness of viewers in terms sports channels. Sean Jefferson, CEO, Mindshare Performance, Europe; Mike Rich and Jamie Lord from APAC; Phil Lines, Head of International Broadcasting and Media Operations, FA Premier League; Bruce Bale; and Chief Executive, Bruce Bale; were the speakers that followed.