Sujit D'Souza, earlier director, media services, The Media Edge, has been parked in Ahmedabad for quite a while. What is holding him back in that city is LemonTree, D'Souza's new outfit, which is getting ready to explore a new area in advertising.
LemonTree, currently a one-man show being run out of Delhi, is looking to bring in-stadium advertising (the so-called upper tier of a sports grounds, and not the ground part) mainstream. "I felt the need to do something new," says D'Souza. "And the potential of the business I had mind is indeed very tempting."
It was only in the last six to eight months that D'Souza, who has worked in Lowe, Mudra and Grey Worldwide at various points in time, begun contemplating doing his own thing. "I had a very fulfilling stint at Rediffusion. My favourite client was Airtel and I had a great time working with them." But then, while looking at the big picture, D'Souza saw some huge untapped spaces in advertising.
"While ground advertising in cricket stadiums find many advertisers, the top area of the cricket ground, a huge canvas, is yet to catch the fancy of the advertisers simply because it has not been promoted. If you look at any award function or a fashion show where advertisers spend crores of rupees on making themselves busy in the background - especially in international events such as the English Premier League or the Formula One racing - the top area of the stadium is replete with advertisements because the area of exposure is just huge," elaborates D'Souza.
Given that cricket delivers excellent television ratings, D'Souza assures that advertisers can derive tremendous mileage from upper-tier in-stadium advertising. LemonTree has made some progress already. It has grabbed the advertising rights in four Indian stadiums - Ahmedabad (for the test match between India and New Zealand), Chennai (One-Day International between India and New Zealand), Cuttack (One-Day International between India and New Zealand) and Bangalore (One-Day International between India and Australia).
D'Souza, who has put in close to two decades in the media business, feels the timing of the launch of his company is just right. He feels fortunate that the space he is eyeing is almost fallow with just one major Mumbai-based player operating there. "There could not have been a better platform for launching my company than the international test series and the ODI as the series is really hot. It is after the last World Cup that India and Australia are going to play a match," points out D'Souza.
However, cricket will not be the only sport LemonTree will exploit. It is considering a tie up with a Delhi-based advertising agency for media consultancy, "an agency that requires a window for cricket", explains D'Souza. © 2003 agencyfaqs!First Published : October 06, 2003