Non Cricketing IP’s Are Providing New Opportunities To Brand Marketers: Experts

At a recent panel discussion on 'Cricket Is Not The Only Sport', experiential experts spoke about the rise of non cricketing platforms and how they are creating compelling experiences for brands and consumers.


A country where cricket is not only a religion but a huge platform for brands to connect with millions of consumers, experiential professionals are leveraging this fact and creating new opportunities around sports, which sometimes goes beyond cricket. 

At a recent panel discussion on 'Cricket Is Not The Only Sport', experiential experts spoke about the rise of non cricketing platforms and how they are creating compelling experiences for brands and consumers.

"India Bike Week was a dream of 3 people and was initiated years ago. Our passion for biking is what really led to creating India Bike Week. I have always been inclined towards the auto industry which is what made me think of an IP dedicated to any and every type of automobile. With the support of a brand like Harley Davidson who helped us put together the motorsport event. We see an average footfall of 20,000 true bikers and along with them several motor bike brands that want to affiliate with us", said Darayash Gocal, Co-Founder & Director, 70 EMG while discussing the impact of motorsports during the panel discussion.

It must be mentioned that sports that are emerging from different genres have a huge scope in the Indian market; however, a lack of government support has not seen the appreciation of such initiatives. 

Vivek Singh, MD, Procam International said, "We have a vast stretch of coastal lines spread across kilometers in India. Surprisingly we did not see any sporting events related to it. To gain more attraction within the segment, Procam introduced the NEXA P1 Powerboat. It was a tough experience for us and our state needs to encourage such kind of events and have the support of the government. The property was way ahead of its time. Events like these need more than private capitals and we are going to be back again with learnings from the initiative". 

Vinit Karnik, Business Head, Entertainment, Sports and Live Events, Group M provided a biased and factual view on the topic of discussion. 

"I agree with Vivek, the P1 Powerboat was way ahead of its time. More than 70% overall acceptance still remains with cricket. With various sporting leagues and events attracting the population, India is on the verge of building a community around this industry. Football, Badminton, Kabaddi and Volleyball etc. will attract more brands valued at more than Rs. 700 Crores. We are taking great learnings from the West and the Indian Premier League has only sparked the idea for privates to create an economy around emerging sports". 

"The idea of Mud Rush emerged from observing people's interest towards participation in sports and other physical activities. We encourage enthusiasts to take part in the run which is not as competitive as a race. Sometimes people participate in sports events to be a part of the experience rather than the winnings tied to it. We haven't gone and discussed the property with big sponsors because we want to build over our brand. Hence, we are investing in our idea till the right time and go and seek capital simultaneously", said Suraj Rosario, CEO, Mud Rush.

Cricket still remains the more profitable sport for brands. Other sports are growing their platform but will take time to derive popularity and reach within the country. 

Rajeshwari Iyer, Associate Marketing Manager, GMI India said, "It is easy to sell cricket to the top management in our country. In our 1st year of the event, we intend to spark the occasion of sharing. Men and women sharing the field was most relevant to the IPL. The brand fits with the league and has 382 platforms across it. For any brand to do a quick initiative, cricket is the right sport. Women watching the sport is 3 times compared to the ones watching daily soaps. There is more growth in the participative audience. 

The panel concluded with a thought of creating events that are most relevant to various sports. Cricket is the start to many IPs being formed around different sports keeping in mind purpose, fulfillment and emotional connect of a brand. 

(The panelists were speaking at the first edition of Event Capital's India Event IP Conclave 2019)

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