ONGC has been chosen as the title sponsor for Nehru Cup 2009, while Airtel, Hero Honda and Emami are the associate sponsors. Zee Sports, the media partner for this tournament, has launched a 360-degree campaign for its promotion. According to estimates, Zee Sports is eyeing more than Rs 10 million in revenues from this football tournament.
Zee Sports is the media partner for the All India football Federation (AIFF) and for all events in India. It is learnt that Zee Sports has bagged both on-air and on-ground rights for the Nehru Cup. Zee Sports has launched a 360 degree marketing campaign under the theme ‘Himmat, Hausla and Hattrick’ with the Indian football team.
In conversation with exchange4media.com, Atul Pande, CEO - Sports, Essel Group, said, “Because the Indian team has been doing significantly well, the Nehru Cup is becoming a fairly good year in the calendar, In fact, it is the performance of the Indian team that has lead to a lot of interest, not only from advertisers but also from the audience. We as a broadcaster and the right holders of AIFF are twice as happy with the overall progress of this tournament.”
He further explained, “The response from the advertisers has been very good and encouraging. In fact, we are seeing much more interest in football, especially for Nehru Cup, as compared to the previous years. We are using the Internet as a medium with an aim to spread the awareness of the tournament, especially amongst the younger fans who are digital savvy. In terms of building awareness about the event and post game analysis and even with regards to information about the Indian team, the Internet will continue to play a sizeable role. The good news is that we are beginning to see more and more youngsters showing interest in football, and they are generally more digital/Internet savvy than the older population.”
Pande added, “The challenge for us is to deliver on opportunities other than title sponsorships and airtime components, such as ground innovations, merchandising options, but we are hopeful that going forward there will be many such possibilities to excite the partners.”
While the value of the deal with ONGC as title sponsor is not known, it is learnt that the deal is on a yearly basis and not necessarily long term. ONGC was the title sponsor for Nehru Cup in 2007 as well and there are speculations that they might be the title sponsors in 2011 too. The Nehru Cup is held every two years.
Meanwhile, radio and print media are being used for promotional activities around the tournament. Among the FM stations, Radio Mirchi will be used, while for print it will be The Times of India, DNA, and all sports magazines. The tournament will also be promoted across Zee Network channels, including Ten Sports. Even social media sites like Facebook, Orkut, etc., will be actively used, wherein they would be creating communities and groups around the event. The creatives for the campaign have been done by the in-house Network Team, while the media agency is Madison Media.
The 14th edition of the Nehru Cup International Football tournament is scheduled to kickstart from August 19 in New Delhi. Apart from India, the international tournament will see teams from Syria, Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Krygyzstan. The final match will be held on August 31, 2009 and all the matches are scheduled to commence from 6.30 pm.