O&M recently & #BANNER1 & # revealed its foray into sports marketing with Ogilvy Sports. Shortly thereafter, Vyas Giannetti Creative launched its own sports marketing firm, Vyas Giannetti Creative Sports. And now, Havas Sports (the international sports marketing entity) has been launched in India under MPG, the media arm of the Havas Group. One thing's for sure - sports marketing is definitely the flavour of the moment.
Havas Sports India will specialise in communication through sports. Its objective is to cope with the increasing need for professionally managed sponsorship consultancy, sports marketing consultancy and sports event consultancy for brands interested in sport through federations, event operators and media content suppliers in the Indian market.
Havas Sports India will be headed by Ruby Bana, chief strategy officer, MPG India. Arjun Rao will be the venture's business director, and he will report to Bana. Rao moves from the International Management Group (IMG), where he was sales manager, South operations. While there, he was responsible for the sales activities at events such as the Chennai Open and Lakme India Fashion Week.
Commenting on the launch of Havas Sports India, Lucien Boyer, global CEO, Havas Sports, says, "India is currently witnessing exponential growth in sports-related marketing and, with the Commonwealth Games happening in 2010, we are taking the opportunity to enter the Indian sports arena with the intention of establishing a leading position in this promising yet complex market."
Bana says that Havas Sports India is part of the Havas Group's commitment to have a fully integrated offering for its clientele. "Havas Sports has some outstanding international experience with several sports corporations and companies and I look forward to these experiences being transported to India," she explains. She cites the conceptualisation, execution and management of the event on the Champs Elysees as a part of the Paris 2012 Olympic bid as one such example. In fact, this particular effort even received a Gold Lion at Cannes.
Havas Sports India will focus on using its proven global research and analysis methods to provide brands with insights into how best to leverage their sports interests, in terms of their sports spend as well as an outcome analysis.
But how will Havas Sports India be any different from other sports marketing firms? Rao explains, "To put it simply, other firms look at the sport and then figure out which brands suit it. We will look at the brand and then decide with which sport it should be associated. Our research tools and analysis will help us achieve that."
Havas Sports India will not involve itself in any kind of talent management for sports stars, but will definitely advise clients if the brand requires a sports icon as its ambassador.
Rao adds, "We will position Havas Sports as a superior platform to infuse the whole added value proposition to Indian brands. We will look at helping brands that are either present in sports currently or are looking to make an entry into leveraging sports for their benefit, both domestically and internationally."
The main focus will be on sponsorship consultancy, hospitality, research and analysis, and execution, says Rao.
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