Gaurav Kapur, TV presenter and founder, Oaktree Sports, and Harsha Bhogle, cricket commentator and expert, discussed why brands should be keen to partner with sports events and athletes at Twitter’s #WhatsHappening2022 event hosted virtually on 29 March.
The moderator for the panel was Amrita Tripathi, head - global content partnerships, Twitter India.
Don’t be trigger-happy
Responding to a question from Tripathi about how Bhogle approaches social media, the commentator stated that it’s important not to be trigger-happy.
"You could make the mistake that the audience is waiting to hear from you. I have learnt over the years to be measured in what I'm trying to say. I also don't get too affected by what people are saying," he said.
Bhogle added that he also tries to be the person he is in real life on social media and revealed that he handles his own profile.
"Brands and companies seek to be the same (authentic). Nobody else handles my Twitter handle and even when I do promotions on Twitter, I make sure to re-word it. There's a word that's being used a lot - authentic. It's up to us to define what authentic is," added Bhogle.
Adding his viewpoint on the need for being authentic on social media, Kapur stated celebrities and brands have a responsibility to be sincere and authentic.
He said, "You can’t fake sincerity. It's a sixth sense that people have and can see through. Brands are realising that."
Kapur stated that while many believe that an audience-first lens is important, his approach to creating content is different.
"I want to see what I want to watch or hear. Then, I can work and collaborate on making something else happen. Then you get market analytics and try moulding your thought and go ahead and create the content. Your original idea should come from your honest viewpoint. That's the first and last lens," he said.
Sports and brands
Kapur also spoke about the reason why brands must look at partnering sports and athletes.
"When it comes to brands and sports, it’s a marriage made in heaven. Sports and athletes have all the values that brands want to associate with. Sport is the only truth we have right now, and I understand why brands want to partner with them. Concerning stories that brands want to tell, it's such a natural fit," he added.
Another piece of advice he had for brands was to be irreverent.
He explained, "Don't start believing in your own myths. I always say, take what you do seriously, but don't take yourself very seriously. That doesn't let you pivot, innovate or add new strings to your bowl."
Bhogle added that he tries to stay relevant with his audience through social media interactions and maintained that brands need to follow that as well.
"People like me, have to stay relevant for the younger people coming to the sport. Brands have to stay relevant too. Relevance is very important and who you are on social media should be similar to who you are in real life. It’s very important for one to maintain their dignity on social media," he concluded.