While cricket is a religion in India and the recent victories against South Africa has further reiterated advertisers’ faith in cricket, India’s national sport, hockey, lags far behind. Not much excitement is seen over the Hockey World Cup 2010, which begins in Delhi from February 28 and will continue till March 13.
Ten Sports, which will broadcast the championship, has reportedly already sold over 90 per cent of its inventories, and if industry estimates are to be believed, the ad rates for the tournament ranges anywhere between Rs 35,000 and Rs 75, 000 per 10 seconds. Hero Honda is the title sponsor for the FIH Hockey World Cup, while Nokia, Coca-Cola, MTS, and Seagram are among the other sponsors roped in for the tournament. Ten Sports is expecting a rating of 2 TVR at least on key matches, which are said to be equivalent of Test matches.
While hockey may have lost the sheen it once had in the country, as in the case of cricket, it will all depend on India’s performance during the World Cup, which could determine road ahead for the sport. Media planners are of the opinion that even if India did reach the finals, the sport had still a long way to go before it could regain mass audience.
In conversation with exchange4media, Atul Pande, Head - Sports Business, Essel Group, said, “We were looking at good sponsorship support, hopefully building regional media equity around the products. We expect the tournament to deliver 2 TVR, at least in the key games and make sure there are media efficient buyers for all our customers. We are also working with our lead sponsor and the way things are going right now, we are certainly meeting our objectives. Expectations are certainly high and the response received from the advertisers and people have been better than what it was earlier.”
Ten Sports has launched a 360 degree campaign for the Hero Honda FIH Hockey World Cup 2010, and while the marketing budgets allocated for this event was not known, it is learnt that the figure is fairly substantial for the massive campaigns.
The broadcaster is using the entire Zee Network channels for promotions. It has also initiated several special innovations, apart from syndicated columns.
Digital media is being used mainly for B2B purposes, wherein the broadcaster has used all major B2B platforms. This apart, Ten Sports has also used social media with the help of its in-house team to create special pages on various social media sites.
A section of media planners, on the other hand, are doubtful about the kind of viewership that the Hero Honda FIH Hockey World Cup 2010 would eventually garner, but is sure that it would certainly not be anywhere near cricket viewership, despite of being held in India.
Another section of media planners believes that the viewership ultimately depends on India’s performance. However, they, too, are not sure how much viewership the tournament will attract in a predominantly cricket crazy nation.