Cricket undoubtedly calls the shots in terms of money and fame in India. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about other sports in India. & #BANNER1 & # Come to think of it, are marketers half-as-enthusiastic to ride on hockey or tennis, as they are on cricket?
A recent study by Starcom's sports marketing wing Relay attempted to answer all these questions and more. Titled SportsMood, the study is a barometer to measure corporate India's confidence in sports and sports marketing, says Ravi Kiran, managing director, Starcom (India), west & south.
Into its first year, the study was conducted over email, with a sample size of 204 respondents from different sectors including FMCG, manufacturing, IT, banking, telecom and automobiles. Almost 25 to 26 per cent of the respondents were product and marketing managers with the balance comprising sales and general managers among others.
A bulk of the respondents, incidentally, were from Mumbai (40 per cent) and Delhi (30 per cent), followed by Bangalore (13 per cent), Kolkata (4 per cent), Chennai (4 per cent) and Hyderabad (2 per cent) respectively.
According to the study, tennis and motorsports were most likely to register a dramatic jump in popularity in the next three years owing in great part to the exploits of tennis star Sania Mirza and formula one driver Narain Karthikeyan. 53 per cent of the respondents voted in favour of tennis, while 22 per cent went with motor sports and 15 per cent with hockey.
"Sports sponsorships are used primarily to target prospective users of products & services," said 76 per cent of the respondents in reply to a question concerning the reasons for using sports marketing in their communication plans.
Almost 70 per cent of the respondents felt that cricket is "prohibitively expensive"; while 61 per cent felt that the share of sports in their company's marketing investment would not grow in the next three years.
Some 84 per cent of the respondents had played at least one sport actively during their college days, while the top three reasons given for the lack of development of sports in India were: Poor infrastructure (52 per cent), a perceived lack of career opportunities in sports, except cricket (49 per cent), and politics in sports associations and governing bodies (48 per cent).
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