PepsiCo may have been ruling on-air thanks to its partnership with the ICC in the ongoing cricket World Cup, but rival Coca-Cola is ensuring that it is not left out of the cricket fever by sponsoring gully cricket at the grassroots.
While Pepsico has launched high decibel campaigns like the 'Change the Game 11' in partnership with MTV and making cricketers, including MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh, wear body paints for it, Coke is quietly driving down the bylanes of India to promote local cricket contests.
Coca-Cola is set to hit its campaign 'Sprite gully Cricket' targeting youngsters in nearly 100 towns and cities across India when the World Cup fever peaks.
The campaign is likely to be launched around the beginning of March and will continue till mid April leading into the IPL, where Coca-Cola India is expected to be a major partner with some prominent IPL teams.
When contacted about the campaign, a Coca Cola India official said :"Sprite Gully Cricket is a part of our ongoing efforts to promote sports at the grassroots level. We have been promoting programmes like cricket, football etc and this campaign takes it forward."
As part of the initiative, the company plans to distribute more than 5,000 cricket balls to cricket fans in these cities. It is also looking to leverage on social media and other online mediums to connect with cricket fans.
Through the campaign, Coca-Cola will target cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Varanasi, Ranchi, and Patna among others. Besides, the campaign will have a special focus on cities where World Cup matches are to be staged.
PepsiCo on the other hand has already kicked off TV commercials for its snacks brand 'Lays' featuring actor Saif Ali Khan and Dhoni.