With the domestic 20-20 cricket tournament ending, corporate sponsors are doffing cricketing gear and donning soccer boots as the FIFA soccer world cup looms.
Brands such as Hero MotoCorp, Lava Mobiles, Microsoft, Nokia and Adidas are leading the race to woo soccer fans. “The traction of advertisers during soccer matches has gone up phenomenally. With the world cup, brands reach out to a set of audience that may not be hooked during cricket matches,” said Rohit Gupta, president, ad sales, Multi Screen Media, which owns Sony SIX, the new official broadcaster of FIFA.
Coca-Cola, a fixture at cricketing events, is switching gear. “Our endeavour is to forge a special connect with football fans,” said Debabrata Mukherjee, vice-president-marketing, Coca Cola India and South West Asia.
Adidas, which signed Virat Kohli as its brand endorser last year, has historic ties with soccer. “We will leverage our strong on-field visibility at World Cup,” said Tushar Goculdas, brand director, Adidas India.
Despite just 900 seconds available, against 2,400 seconds during the T20 cricket matches, the rates have not fallen from the last edition. “The channel is selling slots for Rs. 2.5 lakh per 10 seconds, the same as ESPN charged during last FIFA. Soccer has re-confirmed its position as the second most attractive sport in India,” said Navin Khemka, media buyer, ZenithOptimedia.
Brands spent over Rs. 5 lakh (per 10 seconds) during initial cricket league matches. During the cricket world cup, rates soar to Rs. 6-8 lakh.