F1 revs up in India, but not in ad biz | autos | Hindustan Times
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F1 revs up in India, but not in ad biz

The world’s hottest motor sport event, Formula One, may be arriving in style in India next month, but when it comes to advertising money, cricket stays way above, despite a string of defeats this year that has hurt fan morale. Himani Chandna Gurtoo reports.

autos Updated: Sep 21, 2011 01:19 IST
Himani Chandna Gurtoo

The world’s hottest motor sport event, Formula One, may be arriving in style in India next month, but when it comes to advertising money, cricket stays way above, despite a string of defeats this year that has hurt fan morale.

As fans gear up to watch the 28-30 October event at Greater Noida, it is clear that only a handful of brands are out to buy time in the F1 stakes – despite the slots costing only a fraction of prime cricket events.

Industry sources say Indian Premier League cricket tournament’s ad slots went at an average of Rs 15 lakh per 10 seconds this year and the World Cup earlier went for twice as much. In comparison, Formula One slots due for telecast in on the ESPN Star Sports channel are going at a mere Rs 1 to Rs 1.5 lakh for ten seconds.

"The trend of attracting advertisers through non cricketing events is likely to get more pronounced in the future but cricket is likely to rule at least in the foreseeable future," said Rathindra Basu, spokesman, ESPN Software India. http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/200911/21-09-11-buss21c.jpg

“Non-cricket events have never commanded very high viewership and ad rates yet,” explained Santosh Sood, a media consultant.

Vodafone, Petronas, MRF, BPCL, Tata Motors, Bharti Cellular, Sony, Samsung, UB and Perfetti are among brands that have signed up for F1. But a host of other big brands are staying away yet.

Santosh Desai, managing director, Futurebrands, said that the event is mainly for premium brands and not “budget-conscious” ones.