Our association with Mumbai Indians is for long term: Sandeep Juneja, DHL

The partnership, which is in its second year, has helped us to reach a much wider customer base, says Juneja, DHL’s VP-Sales & Marketing

e4m by Mansi Sharma
Published: May 10, 2022 8:22 AM  | 6 min read

The popularity of IPL and the power of one of the most successful teams in the league, Mumbai Indians, have given DHL an opportunity to be present in each cricket fan’s living room in the country and beyond, driving immense return on investment for the brand, VP-Sales & Marketing Sandeep Juneja told e4m in a recent interaction.

DHL, which is in its second year of association with Mumbai Indians as principal sponsors and logistics partner, is known for its association with a wide portfolio of some of the world’s biggest sports events such as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, ESL One, MotoGP and Formula 1, and so, for the Indian market, IPL came as a natural fit for them.

Juneja elaborated, “In the dynamic times we live in, every marketer is focused on enhancing visibility and resonance for their brand. Establishing strong customer connection via varied formats and associations help brands be the top-of-mind recall for the customers, generate leads, and build loyalty and brand credibility. Cricket is a religion in India and the fan following of the game across the globe is undeniable. And all this only multiplies when we talk about IPL, which brings players from different countries together and gets them all on one platform. Associating and tapping into this audience base has been one of the biggest steps taken by DHL Express India as it helps us make our way into the living rooms and hearts of cricket lovers. This association has aided us to reach a much wider customer base.”

Speaking about why the brand chose Mumbai Indians for the association, Juneja stated that being one of the strongest and most successful teams in the league over the years, it ticked all the necessary boxes, “five times champion, most popular team in IPL, highest social media buzz generator during the game, and many more. Mumbai Indians are Excellence: Simply Delivered, which is in sync with DHL’s mission.” 

He added, “For DHL Express, the partnership with Mumbai Indians demonstrates its support for sports given the shared spirit of speed, passion, teamwork and a can-do attitude. As the world’s leading logistics company, supporting millions of businesses worldwide to reach their goals – we understand what it means to be the team behind the team. Our jersey sponsorship of the Mumbai Indians team is a representation of that role we play to the many business teams around the world.”

The brand is approaching this well-fitted association in a 360-degree way starting with the logo on the back of the team jerseys. “Ours is a unique positioning on the team jersey with only our logo being at the back while others are at the front. Additionally, our colours which are bright yellow and red stand out in a brand name that is just three letters, getting all the attention,” Juneja quipped.

Furthermore, DHL has the right to utilize Mumbai Indians’ logos & marks in advertising communications and are also entitled to present coin toss in one home match. The DHL brand is also hyperlinked to the team's official webpage and the brand logo will be visible on all digital and marketing communication by the team. Perimeter Branding, Dugout Branding, Match Tickets, Player Access for meet & greet, Player Access for Shoot / Social media Digital Campaigns / Autographed Merchandise are some of the other deliverables that the brand is getting.

Additionally, the brand has also worked on an interesting ad campaign #TheTeamBehindTheTeam, featuring MI players, coaches, and support staff the crucial role played by the team behind the scenes in the success of the team that we all can see.

Juneja elaborated, “The campaign is being run on the OTT platform, during MI matches, as well as is being promoted on our own digital channels. The effort is to drive home the importance of the team that contributes to the success of individuals, which is also true of our business. Apart from that, we have also launched a series of ads that positions DHL as a brand that is ‘Simplifying International Shipping. These ads will be aired on Hotstar during MI matches as well as promoted on DHL’s social channels.”

Highlighting the success of the campaign, he noted, “We are the Team behind the Mumbai Indians Team. And this communication was clearly established through our digital campaigns. Talking about last year, on the first day of IPL (opening match : MI vs RCB) our digital video on Team Behind the Team and #TheTeamBehindTheTeam trended number 2 on twitter. TV viewership data for IPL suggests that the event cuts across sections, gender and age-group. This partnership with Mumbai Indians has helped DHL expand its target audience and become a household brand. The prominence of the brand logo on Mumbai Indians Jersey has made us a part of conversation.”

The brand is also building big on BTL platforms with its alpha campaign ‘Six for the cause’ under which DHL is donating Rs 20,000 per six hit by an MI player to Samarthanam Trust for the disabled. This donation will be to support a blind cricket team to go beyond boundaries.

DHL is also running #MatchKeStars, a prediction-based contest that sustains engagement and interaction with fans prior to every MI match along with showing the audience the team behind the team stories, a series of four videos showcasing the support system of MI. To engage the fans further, the brand is also promoting an AR integrated game that allows a user to score as many runs as possible in 1 minute.

Juneja further noted, “Apart from digital activation, we are also focusing on outdoor advertising this year. The varied activities planned this time include- branding on over 50 DHL vans, outdoor ads & in-stadia activations.”

But did the dismal performance of the team in the league impact the ROI that the brand would otherwise have expected getting? Juneja doesn’t think so, as he said,

“Borrowing from what I recently heard in the movie 83, ‘form is temporary, while class is permanent. And that’s what our association with MI means to us. Despite their form, it is a team that stands true to its passion and will forever be known for its hard work and success rate. Apart from success in the match, this association has given us a visibility and reach amongst the audience that can’t be traded. While as a fan I would obviously have loved to see them performing better, as a sponsor I am only proud of their achievements and this association will stand despite their performance on ground. We are in it for the long-term.”

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