We see a significant ROI to our sponsorships during IPL 2022: Vijay Kumar Mikkilinen, TCL

Mikkilineni, Marketing Head, TCL India, shares that the brand has a 360-degree campaign planned for this IPL season

e4m by Shantanu David
Published: Mar 31, 2022 8:49 AM  | 3 min read
Vijay Kumar Mikkilineni

TCL Electronics, being the official sponsor of Sunrisers Hyderabad for the third time in a row and continuing its association with the IPL for the fourth consecutive year, has a 360-degree campaign planned for this season.

“We have always loved to associate with sports and that is the strategy we use around the world to reach out to the masses based on every country’s favourite sport. In India, nothing is bigger than cricket so it was a natural fit for us,” says Vijay Kumar Mikkilineni, Marketing Head, TCL India. The fast-growing consumer electronics company, founded in 1981, now operates in over 160 markets globally. According to OMDIA, TCL ranked 2 globally in LCD TV shipment in 2020. TCL specialises in the research, development, and manufacturing of consumer electronics products ranging from TVs, to audio, and smart home appliances.

The company has invested close to Rs 10 crore into an advertising campaign for this year’s IPL season, with a mix of both “digital/social media and offline interactions.” Mikkilineni adds, “We see a significant ROI to our sponsorships during this season. The last two years, because the season was split into two halves, TCL, like other sponsors, did not see the usual mileage. No one can predict natural calamities and crises, so that was expected. However, we've found it a fruitful investment.”

Interestingly, while the company’s digital campaigns are increasing, print remains a strong medium. “The majority of our customers, between the age-group of 35-45, who are executives or in leadership positions and still use print as a primary medium to discover new products, so while our digital footprint is increasing, print is still an integral part of our marketing,” explains Mikkilineni.

Mikkilineni adds, “The thing is that the format is always evolving. Earlier, nobody could have imagined a cricket match in a stadium without an audience but that has become a part of life now. Cricket has evolved over the years, moving from test matches to One Day Internationals to T20 to the IPL. While fans would have been happy watching the matches physically in person, they are happy to watch it on a screen as well. The point is that they don’t leave the sport, and that is our key philosophy that we work with,” he says.

The brand is also using the opportunity to showcase its product offerings, including ones that are India-specific. TCL recently participated in the annual consumer electronics show (CES) and showcased products like the thinnest 8K Mini LED TV prototype along with other QLED TVs, mobile devices, and smart home appliances. TCL has taken TV viewing, especially fast-paced sports or action movie-watching experiences to “another level”.

“We are using this opportunity to launch a new range of products around late May, as audience retention increases as the tournament gets close to the finale. We’ve invested in our largest overseas plant that produces TV panels, which is the first of its kind, and our association with the IPL will help this announcement reach the masses,” says Mikkilineni.

Addressing the relationship between team performance and brand visibility, he says, “Of course, we always wish SRH to do well. Every brand that associates with its team wants it to win, but ultimately it’s a sport. If a team goes into the finals, we could say that the associated brands have an added advantage as finals are the most-viewed matches and brands get maximum visibility. However, if a team doesn’t win, it still won’t have a detrimental impact as a brand’s strengths are not just limited to association with IPL.”

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