We are striving to repeat IPL’s success in Cricket World Cup: Gautam Thakar, Star Sports

Thakar, CEO, Star Sports, speaks to exchange4media about their programming initiatives for Cricket World Cup, on-ground activation, advertisers and expectations in terms of viewership

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jun 3, 2019 8:30 AM  | 3 min read
GautamThakar

After the success of the recently concluded Vivo IPL, Star Sports has gone all out to recreate the magic with ICC World Cup 2019 that kickstarted on May 30.

The cricketing extravaganza would reach its pinnacle on June 5 when Team India play its first game against South Africa. Meanwhile, Star Sports has upped its game with the launch of ‘Lejayengae’ and ‘Desh ki Mitti’ campaigns. The broadcaster has also taken a bold step by having women front the English coverage of the tournament. This is probably the first time that the coverage of a world event of this stature is being fronted by women.

Gautam Thakar, CEO, Star Sports, spoke to exchange4media about the programming initiatives, on-ground activation, advertisers on board, and Star’s expectations in terms of viewership.    

When asked about viewership expectations from the tournament, Thakar answered citing the viewership that the network witnessed during IPL.

“A record number of 462 million people watched IPL this season. The total consumption increased from 300 billion minutes to 338 billion minutes, making it the highest ever in the history of IPL. This wouldn’t have been possible without understanding our viewers’ demands and making our programming according to their taste.”

“We are striving towards the same goal for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as we introduce a robust set of programming initiatives as well as different regional feeds for people to enjoy the content in their desired language. The Star Sports network provides viewers with seven different languages across channels. More than anything, the aim remains the same -- to keep our consumers happy and satisfied with the content that we telecast and produce and hold the reputation of being India’s leading sports broadcaster,” Thakar added.

Talking about their programming initiative, Thakar said, “As we understand the fact that viewers will be looking forward to India matches, we have some special shows for the India matches. To begin with, we have 90 minutes dedicated to pre-show on all match days.”

For the India matches, Star Sports will also have programmes such as Philips Hue Cricket Live, Follow the Blues, Game Plan Match Point and Game Plan and Select Dugout.

“Star Sports is constantly evolving its methods of broadcasting sports content while keeping up with the latest technology trends in the market that were displayed during VIVO IPL 2019,” Thakar said.

Sharing their ground activation plans, Thakar said, “Driving the core campaign thought #CricketKaCrown, the network unveiled the first phase of the #LEJAYENGE activation across cities in India in the week of May 20.”

“The second phase of the activation will begin in Mumbai on June 5, when India will start their World cup campaign. The broadcaster has tied up with BEST buses which will provide free rides to passengers across three prime routes in Mumbai, allowing them to get home in time to enjoy the live action on the Star Sports network. Drivers will be holding a placard, inviting passengers for a free ride to their destination,” Thakar added.

The network’s list of advertisers for the tournament include PhonePe, One Plus, Havells, Kamala Pasand, Amazon.com, Amazon Pay, Byju’s, Dream11, MRF tyres, Pernod Ricard, AMFI, Coca – Cola, Uber, Uber Eats, Mondelez, Oppo, PolicyBazar.com, Paisa Bazaar.com, Acko General Insurance, CEAT Tyres, ICICI Lombard, Royal Challenge Sports Drink, Philips Hue.

 

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Star Sports records 269 mn viewers for Opening Week of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

The inaugural week of the tournament registered a phenomenal 107.2 million average impressions

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 13, 2019 3:59 PM   |   2 min read

Star Sports e4m

Continuing the record-breaking success from the opening game, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, in its Opening week records a massive 269 mn reach on the Star network. The inaugural week of the ten-nation tournament registered a phenomenal 107.2 million average impressions, setting a viewership record in the history of any ICC tournament. The high decibel marketing campaign #CricketKaCrown, curated programming and unique on-ground activation across cities - ‘Le Jayenge’, contributed to making the opening week a grand success.

Regionalization takes Centerstage

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was broadcast on Star Sports’ largest bouquet of dedicated regional channels and strong viewership from regional markets is a testament to that. All matches were broadcast in 7 languages - English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali and Malayalam (Opening and all India match days), apart from Select Dugout.

Breakout performers – Kaun Le Jaayega #CricketKaCrown

The opening week of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 saw some stellar performances from players like Jofra Archer (fiery bowling spell against South Africa), Rohit Sharma (immaculate century against South Africa), Shakib Al Hasan (strong performances with bat and ball) to name a few. Not only that, Windies’ spirited performance against Pakistan and India’s dominance over Proteas were some of the notable highlights of Opening week.

Special Programming Initiatives

To provide a comprehensive TV viewing experience for fans during the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Star Sports created and offered a dedicated 90 mins pre-show, Philips Hue Cricket LIVE for all games. As part of this show, fans could enjoy a light-hearted segment called ‘Follow the Blues’ which captured Team India’s journey through England and Wales. For all the India games, Star Sports network has launched special programming initiatives which include ‘Dil Se India’, that capture wishes and sentiments of fans and celebrities from all across the globe. As a special initiative, #WomenInFront, the ICC CWC 2019 broadcast will be presented by women experts and anchors such as Mayanti Langer, Isa Guha, Seema Jaswal and Sanjana Ganesan, to name a few. As part of the biggest Opening invite for India’s first match against South Africa, Bollywood superstars, Salman Khan, and Katrina Kaif made a special appearance on Philips Hue Cricket Live to promote their upcoming film.

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Ad rates soaring for this cricket World Cup’s first Indo-Pak game

Brands to ride on the craze for the June 16 match; industry experts say rates currently as high as Rs 20 lakh per 10 sec

By Tasmayee Laha Roy | Jun 13, 2019 8:13 AM   |   3 min read

Indo-Pak

While the 2019 offspring of Star Sports’ Mauka Mauka ad campaign, launched during the 2015 ICC World Cup to promote the India vs Pakistan match, has been grabbing a lot of attention, brands are all set to cash in on the Sunday June 16 match between the two nations. 

Media planners have a packed schedule ahead of this World Cup’s first India-Pakistan match. Each of the brands have been trying to get themselves a spot during the match. 

With an India-Pakistan game always being one of the must-watch games of the tournament, ad slots for the day are touching sky high rates. According to industry experts, the rates currently are as high as Rs 20 lakh per 10 sec. 

“Broadcasters will look forward to cashing in on the India-Pakistan matches due to the heightened emotions of Indians around these clashes. Mega emotions demand mega screens and this World Cup match is no different. It is like the Superbowl of India and more,” said Jyoti Bansal, CEO, PHD India.

According to Sejal Shah, Managing Partner and Head of Publicis Media Exchange (PMX - Mainline), India-Pakistan matches have always sold at a premium. “The premium could go up to three times the asking rate in any tournament. There is much anticipation and expectation around an India versus Pakistan match and when the property is as big as the World Cup, the stakes involved are so much more. Emotion and passion runs deep and the match represents the socio-political sentiments of the two countries. This is much more than just a cricket match. The India-Pakistan match is over-sold in every tournament. As a selling tactic, broadcasters create packages—bundle up this inventory with non-India matches which advertisers are compelled to buy,” said Shah.

Talking of history, the India-Pakistan match in the ICC World Cup 2015 was said to have generated a viewership of 288 million viewers and saw around 93 brands on board across Star Network. Likewise, it also scored high in terms of ad revenues. The match was said to have generated nearly Rs 100-110 crore in advertising revenues, according to media planners.

This time, too, media planners are expecting similar revenues and more. According to Sudhir Kumar, Director, Offline Media at marketing agency DCMN India, for brands that are buying slots for all the 48 matches the rates vary between Rs 8 lakh/10 sec to Rs10 lakh/10 sec, and the rates can go up to anywhere between Rs 15 lakh/10 sec and Rs 18  lakh/10 sec if a brand is looking at investing in specific matches only. “However, when it comes to buying slots for the India-Pakistan match on June 16 the price has rocketed up to Rs 20 lakh/10 sec because the match is almost like a war fought on the cricket pitch and that has a guaranteed viewership. The match has the stature of a World Cup semi-final or the final match. So any brand that wants to be heard or seen will be investing in ad slots for the match,” Kumar added.

Experts suggest Star has already sold 90 per cent of the inventory for the match and there will be interest ad content on the day. “Our experience has been that there is always last-minute inventory available. Depending on the client’s objective, we recommend options. The key is to know what we want out of the emotional frenzy to benefit our brands. Watch out for an interesting one from one of our clients,” said PHD India’s Jyoti Bansal.  

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IDFC FIRST Bank joins World Cup fiesta with #AlwaysYouFirst campaign

The Mastra Media campaign consists of 14 digital films, featuring Harsha Bhogale, and will focus on the Gamechangers 

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 12, 2019 4:10 PM   |   2 min read

IDFC

Mastra Media, with Interactive Avenues, celebrates the spirit of ICC World Cup 2019 with #AlwaysYouFirst campaign for IDFC FIRST Bank. Interactive Avenues being the creative agency for the campaign.

These videos will span across all India matches with Bhogale sharing his views on who all could make a difference to the game’s outcome.

Along with cricket, the #AlwaysYouFirst initiative also features a host of digital films using social influencers like Karan Kundrra, Soha Ali Khan, Siddharth Nigam and Anusha Dandekar, showcasing moments in these celebrities’ lives where they have always put others first and lived the #AlwaysYouFirst adage.

With the Cricket World Cup association, IDFC FIRST Bank aims to partner with the Men in Blue and act as an enabler in them bringing Home the Cup, keeping the nations’ interests first.

Talking about the campaign, Srinivas A, Mastra Media, said: “IDFC FIRST Bank has struck the right chord with the common man in our cricket-loving nation. Digital videos showcasing the 
#AlwaysYouFirst initiative have enabled awareness, conversions and positive buzz around the brand.”

Yash Modhave - Mastra Media said, “Cricket is a religion in India and IDFC FIRST Bank with Harsha Bhogale aims to make the right noise across the greatest spectacle of Cricket-WC 2019.”

#AlwaysYouFirst initiative has been seamlessly integrated through retail, digital and social media platforms to bring people together this World Cup 2019. The initiative will extend to many more associations. 
 

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Virat, Ranveer & Ranbir lord over World Cup brand mania

According to industry experts, the cricket tournament is a huge opportunity for brands to build a connect with the consumers and getting a celebrity to endorse adds to the impact

By Anjali Thakur | Jun 11, 2019 8:15 AM   |   4 min read

World Cup

The world of cricket opens up truckloads of opportunities for the corporates. The ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup telecast on TV has been interspersed with loads of commercials. Among the ones hard to miss are Ranbir Kapoor’s Coca Cola advertisement, Virat Kohli’s Uber campaign and Ranveer Singh’s TVC with Llyod. These three faces seem to have taken over the World Cup brand mania. 

“A celeb endorsement is the ultimate pat on the back for a brand. When a celeb backs a brand, it adds to the awe factor and heightens awareness about the brand among the consumers. And if the endorsement comes from the cricketing icons, then it is all the more good,” said Harish Bijoor, Brand Expert and Founder of Harish Bijoor Consults iNc. 

Be it on the field or off it, the Indian cricket team Captain Virat Kohli has it all sorted and thus brands also trust him the most to present the best foot forward when it comes to endorsements. From Puma to Audi, Kohli is clearly a brand champion. On choosing Kohli when brands are increasingly moving towards social media influencers, Manisha Lath Gupta, Head of Marketing, Uber India and South Asia, said: “I think what Virat has really helped us to do is break through the clutter and create far more impact for our communication than it would have otherwise. The use of a celebrity helps you to create a better impact and awareness about the brand, and break away from the clutter too.” 

Talking about Kohli’s association with Puma, Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, Puma India, said: “Virat is not just the greatest athlete of our time, he’s also the biggest youth icon in India. Having performed like a real champion on and off the field, Puma celebrates his sportsmanship as he shoulders the nation’s expectations for the international cricketing tournament with his captaincy.” 

Moving on, in 2018 Ranveer had as many as 25 brands in his kitty and his brand value of $63 million helped him move up one place to rank 4 from the previous year. During this World Cup telecast, he seems to be all over the commercial space. “The Cricket World Cup is the ultimate international event that brings together the collective attention of over 1 billion people around the world, with 90 per cent concentration in South Asia. Nearly 40 per cent of the media spends by leading brands this year will be around the World Cup and it is important for them to seek high-impact attention which is only possible through mega celebrities such as Virat, Ranveer and Ranbir,” said Saurabh Uboweja, Chief Executive Officer, Brands of Desire, a management consulting firm. 


According to Jagdeep Kapoor, Brand Expert and CMD, Samsika Marketing Consultants, since the World Cup takes place once in four years, brands wants to make the most of it. “It is key to catch the attention of consumers during this event as it helps in building a brand. Having a celebrity to endorse helps in achieving that objective. The brand scores, just like the cricketer.” 

So how much do these celebrities charge per endorsement? While Bijoor tells us that the numbers can’t be really calculated, according to Uboweja, the big celebrities charge anywhere between Rs 3 to 15 crore for a multi-year brand endorsement deal. 

“Ranveer and Ranbir are hot property today. They are youth icons and have been making the right moves and this is also why they have big endorsements in their kitty. World Cup, as we all know, is the biggest festival of cricket and is watched by all lovers of the game. This is why all premium brands take part in the game and their obvious choice is to endorse top players of the game,” Atul Mohan, trade expert.

Both actors also charge Rs 8 to Rs 10 crore, depending on the brand, Mohan added.

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Detel announces ‘Detel World Cup Scratch and Win Offer’

The offer will be live from June 10 to 14, under which the company will be rolling out a range of gift vouchers and prizes

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 10, 2019 3:44 PM   |   2 min read

Detel

Detel has announced an exclusive World Cup Scratch and Win Offer for its customers to rejoice the World Cup fever. The offer will be live from June 10 to 14, under which the company will be rolling out a range of gift vouchers and special prizes. 


A customer can avail a scratch card on the purchase of any Detel TV. The scratch card will contain a serial number and on scratching there will be a gift voucher ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 1,000. The customer can redeem the voucher in full by buying any product from the Detel website.  The gift voucher will be valid for redemption upto August 15, provided the customer has registered by July 14.

 

As an exclusive offer, 3 lucky winners will be selected who will win 65” 4K LED TV, 49” Smart 4K LED TV and 39” Smart FHD LED TV respectively. 

 

Commenting on the same, Yogesh Bhatia, MD, Detel, said, “Cricket is the most popular game in India, and to celebrate the spirit of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, we are excited to bring to our customers an exclusive Scratch and Win offer. We believe that the true ambassadors of Detel are our delighted customers and this initiative is an effort to reward our valued customers.”


“All the products which are up for Mega Prizes are some of Detel’s best products which have received great response from our customers,” he added. 

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Star Sports sends Team India jar containing soil from home grounds of all players

The jar will remind team that the soil that supported them through their journey will be in the dressing room along with a billion voices chanting “India, India”

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 10, 2019 12:23 PM   |   1 min read

jar

Team India has descended in England to bring the #CricketkaCrown back and have started off their ICC Cricket World Cup journey with a victory over South Africa and Australia.

With a long tournament ahead, Star Sports – the official global broadcasters-- has sent the team a jar full of soil  #BlessingsFromHomeGround and wish them the very best for the tournament.

The jar contains soil from the home grounds of all the players representing India where they started their journey with cricket. The jar will remind them that the soil that supported them through their journey to the World Cup will be in the dressing room along with a billion voices chanting “India, India” at home.

Before the start of play against Australia on Sunday, Virat Kohli accepted the jar on behalf of the team from Jatin Sapru, the Star Sports presenter.

 

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Indian cricketers catch the beat of #YehWorldCupHumaraHai anthem on Vigo Video

Yuvraj Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, and Shikhar Dhawan show their support for the user-generated World Cup song made popular on the short video platform

By exchange4media Staff | Jun 6, 2019 4:42 PM   |   1 min read

VigoVideo

Vigo Video users Mellow’D, Krishnan, Vishal Ahire, Sumit Kumar and Tushar Chatterjee created a heartfelt yet catchy song #YehWorldCupHumaraHai to celebrate the spirit of ongoing ICC World Cup 2019.

Within 24 hours of users uploading it, the song has not only made waves online but has also caught the attention of top Indian cricketers such as Yuvraj Singh and Shreyas Iyer, who have created their own videos with the same catchy tune.

While Yuvraj Sing’s video showcases his passion for the sport, Cricketer Shreyas shows some cricket moves to motivate his fans. Their videos have been liked by popular cricketers Shikar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya.

With #YehWorldCupHumaraHai bringing out Indians’ true passion for the sport, it wouldn’t be a surprise for this trending tune to become the World Cup Anthem for 2019 in the coming days.

Check out the #YehWorldCupHumaraHai craze on Vigo Video and help make this anthem popular as you cheer for Team India. Download Vigo Video on iOS and Google Play to get started.

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