Mumbai-based advertising agency Network has bagged the advertising account of a new channel brand TEN Sports. While the channel's ad budget for the year has not been firmed up yet, TEN Sports intends to spend around a crore during the launch phase, says Mohit Mehra, manager, marketing communications, TEN Sports.
It was only last week that the launch date of the channel was announced during the course of press meetings held in Mumbai and Delhi. To put things in perspective, the Abdul Rehman Bukhatir-promoted TEN Sports channel will be launched on April 1 in India. A 24-hour sports channel, TEN Sports will be uplinked from Dubai. On his turn, Bukhatir is credited with introducing cricket to Sharjah and the creation of the Cricketers' Benefit Fund in Sharjah.
It appears the pitch for the Taj Television-backed channel account happened over the last one month. While Taj TV executives refused to talk about the details of the pitch, it is learnt there were three agencies in the fray. "None of these were among the Top 20. The rank of the agency or whether it had operations in more than one location was never a consideration for us," says Mehra. "We were looking for a sound strategy-led agency and we found that in Network. Network has been known for its strategic creative work and total commitment to the brands it works on. Their presentation on the brand position and the way they looked at creating a definite style and imagery for the brand impressed us."
Mehra was also taken in by Network's credentials. "Their track record with their past clients was extremely impressive and swung the decision in their favour," says Mehra. "As we saw it Network has done some outstanding work on new brand launches - be it the launch of the ANZ Grindlay's silver card or the ACE brand of Max Touch. We needed an agency like this - one that had a good amount of experience in consumer-led or offer-led categories. That is because we plan to do build hype and excitement around TEN Sports with the help of interesting promos."
Promos will no doubt be key in achieving TEN Sports' stated goal - that of broadbasing the appeal of sports in India. To give an indication of the channel's programming line-up - TEN Sports has the exclusive rights for WWF in India, the Sharjah Cup, Cricket played in Sri Lanka and will also feature European Cup Football and "lots of other exciting sports action", says a TEN Sports spokesperson.
Mehra says the channel will use a lot of press and outdoor ads in the launch phase. "We plan to follow a distribution-led strategy at least during the initial days, and we will ensure that all parts of the country are well covered by our network," says Mehra. © 2002 agencyfaqs!