Neo Sports expects Rs 285 crore from India-Australia Test Series

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | September 25, 2008
The company's marketing spends for the forthcoming India-Australia series is in the range of Rs 2-3 crore

Neo & #BANNER1 & # Cricket, the 24x7 cricket channel of Nimbus Communications, is all set to unleash cricket mania by broadcasting the upcoming India-Australia Test match series, beginning October 9 in Bengaluru.

Neo Sports Broadcast has sealed sponsorship deals with different brands for the four match series. It has signed on brands such as Airtel, Toyota, Coca-Cola and Hero Honda as sponsors.

An informed source confirms to afaqs! that co-presenter sponsor status cost Airtel Rs 7-8 crore. The remaining three brands have been signed on as associate sponsors, for which they shelled out Rs 4.7 crore each. Reportedly, other advertisers have to pay between Rs 80,000 and Rs 2,00,000 for a 10 second spot during the series broadcast.

Sunil Manocha

Abhishek VermaTalking to afaqs!, Sunil Manocha, executive vice-president, sales, advertising, Neo Sports Broadcast, says, "The India-Australia clash in itself promises lots of excitement as it is full of aggression and intensity. The competition level and rivalry is next only to, say, an India-Pakistan clash. We are hopeful that the clash will see us delivering a TRP in the range of 3. The higher eyeballs will translate into greater viewership, justifying the money put in by our sponsors and associates."

Manocha points out that the channel is working out various innovations for the brands that are on board for the series, to ensure that advertisers get maximum exposure during the entire duration. These innovations will supplement the usual 10 second spot presence by most of the brands.

For example, the channel executives are working closely with Airtel executives to come up with an exciting association, wherein Brand Airtel will occupy centrestage when fours and sixes are hit. Similarly, Toyota is also seeking to promote the new Corolla Altis innovatively.

The channel heads appear confident that they will be able to tap the cricket centric target group - males in the age group of 15+. At the same time, Manocha points out that this TG is defined from the advertisers' point of view because cricket is viewed by a sizeable section of the population across all age groups, including kids, youngsters, young adults and housewives.

Click on the image to enlargeTo promote the series and create a buzz around the matches, the channel has earmarked a budget of Rs 2-3 crore for promotions.

Talking about the promotional activities, Abhishek Verma, head, marketing and communications, Neo Sports Broadcast, says, "Promos for the series are already going strong on our network channels, such as Neo Cricket and Neo Sports. We have taken up advertising spots on news channels such as NDTV, NDTV India and News 24. Down South, promos are being aired on channels such as Sun News and Sun Music. Banner ads are up on a few general interest websites and cricket oriented sites."

According to Verma, in the second phase of the campaign, print ads will appear in major newspapers such as The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle and The Hindu.

Most importantly, on-ground activities will be conducted in the run-up to the series in the Hindi speaking markets (HSM), where a branded canter will do the rounds of cities and villages, conducting small contests for the audience.

Besides this, Neo Cricket's advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather, has created a striking creative, to be used in the yet to be launched outdoor campaign. The creative centres on the sentiment of heated exchanges, which were an important feature of the recent tour of the Indian team in Australia.

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