Zee Sports, which has acquired 10 years exclusive broadcasting rights for All India Football Federation (AIFF), is unleashing its plans to promote football among the masses, beginning with the Federation Cup, which starts from October 19.
AIFF has three tournaments – Federation Cup, Santosh Trophy and National Football League.
For the first time, Indian football is being produced by 12-15 camera set up, which is as per the league standards in Europe, including English Premier League, Spanish League and the likes. Also, this is the first time any sports property produced in India is being covered in such a massive scale.
To support the world class production, a holistic marketing campaign and promotional campaign is being undertaken across the country, which will include on air promotion across the Zee Network, below the line activities like pub screenings in major cities and towns and setting up of football kiosks. Cities like Goa, Kolkata and Bangalore will see more buzz and activities during the football season.
Himanshu Mody, Business Head, Zee Sports, said, “Apart from all the activities that we have lined up, we have also committed a substantial amount for campaigns across the country. During the matches we have arranged for performances by bands and music troupes. And on the lines of Laker Girls we have started ZeeBras to promote football and add a loyalty factor.”
Speaking on the challenge of promoting a game like football, which is watched only in select pockets of the country, Mody said, “This surely is a challenge for us and we have great expectations from the people. We expect people to see the game on television and applaud and commend Zee Sports for portraying the game in a different light. What we are going to present and deliver on air in terms of productions and presentation is going to be completely different and fresh from what people are traditionally used to seeing on DD. We have inculcated ideas to provide value for money and showcase football in a very entertaining manner.”
Accepting the hitches in distribution, Mody said that the channel was taking one step at a time as this was a competitive market. But by the time the tournaments starts, things might just fall into place.