'Puma’s latest 'Sock Them' campaign celebrates Virat's sportsmanship and cricket culture'

Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, Puma India tells us how the brand is planning to go big in terms of brand visibility for the ICC World Cup 2019

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Updated: May 30, 2019 8:39 AM
Puma World Cup

In a strategic move to make the most of ICC Cricket World Cup’s reach and viewership, Puma announced their association with Indian cricket Captain Virat Kohli right before the global cricketing tournament. The affordable sports brand is planning to go big in terms of brand visibility riding on the popularity of the Indian skipper. The brand is going high on social media campaigns and targeting their primary client base - millennials through the initiative.

Explaining how the brand has planned to leverage one of the most awaited cricket extravaganzas, Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, Puma India says, “As the No 1 sportswear brand in India, Puma is leading the cricketing frenzy with our latest campaign “Sock Them” featuring Indian Cricket Captain Virat Kohli and Divine, the country’s biggest hip-hop star. Music and sports are the biggest unifiers of our society. Cricket, specifically, is the biggest cultural integrator India has ever seen. Celebrating Virat’s sportsmanship and the culture of cricket beyond the sport itself, we are launching a music video to help fans cheer the team’s performance in the upcoming international tournament.”

Further elaborating about the campaign, Ganguly said, “The campaign is widely-relatable in a manner that is daring, optimistic and inspiring. Conceptualized around Virat’s celebratory gesture “My bat does the talking”, the extremely catchy campaign is composed and performed by Divine himself. While it reflects our passion in a very positive way, it also perfectly captures the crossover between music, art and culture and how cricket transcends everything at its core.”

The brand is one of the first to launch a music video like “Sock Them” in India. It is brought to life with one of the most popular music artists in the country. “The video’s local appeal will leave fans humming “Chakravyuh Mein SockThem” throughout the season. This truly differentiates our approach and sets us apart from other global brands. Though the essence and tone remain PUMA, it’s about the local connect, it’s always about Inda,” he said.

Traditionally, India has always been a cricket frenzy nation and people love to watch and follow the game especially big properties such as the ICC World Cup and IPL. These events generate high viewership and the attention span of the viewers is also high during the matches. When asked how the brand will cash in on the ICC World Cup and what are the offers and promotions being done, Ganguly shared, “Puma has created campaign elements like the ‘Sock’ as seen in the music video. To really add to the eclectic atmosphere when rooting for Virat and the Indian cricket team, we are also integrating with screening areas/fan parks where matches will be screened. Fans will be given special merchandise like the sock to mimic the ‘SockThem’ mnemonic while cheering for the team. In addition to this, we are retailing special merchandise like an entire range of fan tees, 'Sock Them' socks and caps that will be retailed online and at our stores.”

This campaign will see 360-degree executions that will span ATL (Radio, OOH, Print), social media including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, digital platforms such as YouTube, owned media and on ground activation, to create buzz throughout the cricketing season. “Our digital activation will see Puma tap into multiple channels like YouTube (video), the music streaming platform Saavn (audio), TikTok (user-generated content) and live telecast streaming platform, Hotstar,” he said. PUMA will allocate 90% of the overall marketing budget in the digital space for this campaign. Talking about what kind of revenue is the brand expecting from this World Cup, Ganguly went on to say, “For Puma, it’s about celebrating cricket and the culture of the sport that unites our nation. We are always looking for ways to engage with our consumers in their language and medium. Our aim is to create as many touch points as we can for consumers to relate to brand PUMA in India. While we don’t have a conventional approach to measure ROI for this campaign, adoption of Sock Them by Indian cricket fans to support the team during the tournament will serve as a good metric.”

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