Having pulled out of cricket sponsorships altogether following India’s poor show at the World Cup earlier this year, consumer electronics and home appliances major LG Electronics India is now keen to re-enter sponsoring the gentleman’s game.
The company, which owes to a lot to cricket as a tool in its brand-building exercise in India, claims that a final decision would be taken in the next 2-3 months. LG had announced in April that it is no longer keen to sponsor cricket and would prefer golf instead.
The company was the official sponsor of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) World Cup 2007 that was held in the West Indies.
LG India’s managing director Moon Bum Shin said that the company is currently working on the cost benefits involved in sponsoring cricket, which is also becoming expensive by the day. “Cricket is a very important game in India and we acknowledge that. We are in talks internally to decide whether we should be sponsoring the game once again,” Shin, who is also LG’s president for South-West Asia, said.
Since LG is still the ICC’s official partner — the contract is valid till March 2008 — it is in a position to exercise the right of first refusal. Lakshmikant Gupta, chief marketing officer, LG, told Hindustan Times that since the company has used cricket as a vehicle for promotion from time to time, it was hard to ignore the game altogether.
“We are yet to decide what form of sponsorship it would be but we will arrive at a decision soon,” Gupta said, adding, however, that there are no plans to sponsor matches of the Indian Cricket league. LG is likely to close 2007 with a turnover of Rs 9,500 crore, up from Rs 8,250 crore in 2006. The company spends about Rs 40-50 crore a year on cricket alone.