Nokia is in a bind after its big bet on Indian Premier League (IPL), in which it is one of the biggest investors, lost some edge on Sunday with the announcement that the Twenty20 cricket tournament will be shifted overseas this year.
The Finnish mobile phone giant will now revise its strategy built around its sponsorship of Kolkata Knight Riders owned by its brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, who is a mascot aimed at attracting youths.
India, where it has a 63 per cent market share, is the biggest market for Nokia after China. A change of venues could possibly affect television viewership and hence, advertising plans.
The company was the second lead sponsor for the event for Kolkata Knight Riders last year and was looking forward to carrying the torch forward in the April 10-May 24 games this year.
D. Shivakumar, Nokia’s vice-president and marketing head told Hindustan Times that it was “too premature” to say how the strategy will change.
“We will stay with IPL and the Kolkata Knight Riders and our partnership will remain,” he said.
Nokia has sponsored an exclusive five-song music album in the build-up to IPL, with songs bundled into two of its models.
It also has contests aimed at promoting its brand.