Indian Badminton League (IBL) has awarded its media duties to VivaKi Exchange. The account size is pegged at Rs 25 crore. IBL is a joint venture between Badminton Association of India (BAI) and Sporty Solutionz, the commercial partners for the event, and is a property valued at one million USD.
IBL had earlier invited a multi agency pitch before awarding the mandate to VivaKi.
The media mandate includes television and print, and a special focus on digital. The pan India campaign on the digital platform will come out in two weeks, while the television campaign is expected to be launched in the next 45 days. The campaign will target youth in the SEC AB category.
Mona Jain, CEO, VivaKi Exchange, says, "Of late, the sports category has seen a massive upward swing, largely due to a plethora of sports channels, coupled with Indian accolades internationally. Badminton is undoubtedly the fastest growing sport in the world and enjoys a massive following in India after Saina Nehwal's exploits in the 2012 London Olympics. I am sure IBL will be seen as a viable destination for large spending advertisers, who want to maximise their spends on media through sports this year."
Tarun Nigam, COO, VivaKi Partnerships Unit, says, "It will be a tough task as badminton is not a regular brand. We will have to change the psyche of the people and if soccer and Formula 1 leagues can do well in India, then badminton can definitely do well."
He adds that social media will play a key role as people want to talk about other sports on the medium, as they do for soccer and car racing.
The IPL-styled Indian Badminton League will be held during August 14-31 across six cities in the country. The final will be held in Mumbai on August 31.
The six franchise-based city teams featuring in the first edition of the IBL are Hyderabad Hotshots (Hyderabad), Rajdhani Smashers (Delhi), Mumbai Masters (Mumbai), Karnataka Kings (Bengaluru), Pune Vijetas (Pune) and Lucknow Warriors (Lucknow).
Top badminton icons such as Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta, Parupalli Kashyap, Ashwini Ponnappa and PV Sindhu have confirmed their participation in the league.
VivaKi is part of Publicis Groupe and was launched in India in 2008. With its around-the-world activities spanning more than 104 countries across five continents, the group employs about 44,000 professionals.