With the ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023 less than a month away, brands are gearing up for an exhilarating journey, capitalising on the confluence of cricket passion, festive vibrancy, and strategic partnerships.
With the tournament placed right during the peak of the festive season, brands will be looking to use this as an opportunity to reach out to their target audience.
While Disney Star (broadcasters for digital and television) would be the obvious choice for brands, expect other media to also benefit.
Campaign India aimed to explore how news channels will fare during the tournament, ask them how they'll be looking to maintain authenticity while associating with cricket specials and ask experts the right way to tailor messaging to achieve marketing effectiveness.
News channel partnerships and revenue anticipation
Highlighting how the World Cup will be a game changer for Zee Media Corporation, its marketing head, Anindya Khare, said, "The World Cup, spanning 48 matches from 5 October to 19 November, perfectly aligns with the core festive period. The trend of AdEx for low-cost reach/frequency channels during this phase is expected to surge to 120% of the fill level, driven by organic demand."
He added that it's not only the World Cup and the festive season that will drive AdEx.
"Additionally, upcoming elections in critical states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana will contribute 8-10% to the AdEx. We anticipate a substantial 25% upswing in revenue during this period compared to regular daily news coverage," added Khare.
About brands that are showing interest in news channels during the tournament, Khare shared, “Brands that will show interest in the cricket fervour are from the e-commerce, automobile, gaming, and consumer durable sectors. These brands are expected to craft campaigns that resonate with the cricket fervour, seamlessly integrating the sport's thrill with their products and services.”
Navin Khemka, CEO, EssenceMediacom – South Asia, expects local media to be able to give comprehensive coverage since the World Cup is happening on the home turf.
"For news channels, this is a big opportunity to tailor-make programming around the event and drive viewership outside the live match. Cricket-crazy audiences are always crazy to follow the event outside the stadium and be updated on activations and star following", he explained.
Nikhil Vyas, co-founder and CEO, ITW Mediaworx, envisions how news channels will leverage cricket fervour to drive revenue.
He stated, "Around marquee events like this, news channels will orchestrate dedicated programming, including expert analysis and innovative live score visual graphics. Ex-cricketers and experts will contribute to pre/mid/post shows, enhancing the viewer experience. Season-long partnerships will be packaged for advertisers, catering to live broadcast investments beyond their budgets."
Soham Mishra, senior marketing manager, TCM Sports, stated that news channels can help break the monotony and avoid saturation for brands.
“Advertising on sports channels is already quite saturated during this period hence, consumption becomes cumulative, not unique. News ensures that brands continue achieving a new set of viewers. The approach to strategising for the World Cup is anticipated to diverge from conventional TV commercials. Instead, it will emphasise the fusion of celebrities and brand purpose and further harness social media avenues to craft enduring and captivating brand campaigns,” said Mishra.
Leveraging the festive season for maximum eyeballs
Comparing the advertising frenzy during the ICC Men's ODI World Cup to the Indian Premier League (IPL), Khare stated, "We do anticipate more ad revenue due to the demand stemming from the festival season and election. This dual catalyst is projected to drive heightened advertising interest and engagement, resulting in a more substantial ad revenue surge compared to the IPL."
Vyas believes the festive season coupled with the World Cup will be a game-changer.
He explained, "The most-watched event coincides with the media-heavy third quarter of the year, leading to a skewed distribution of advertising dollars towards the tournament. Advertisers who allocate budgets exclusively for the festive period will contribute to the broadcasters' success."
Khemka opined that for festive campaigns, it is a great opportunity to garner dominant viewership and build reach. However, Khemka also pointed out that brands that are specifically targeted towards cricket and building a long-term association with the games (ground sponsors/team sponsors /ICC sponsors) will want to use this World Cup in India as an opportunity to strengthen their association with cricket.
"These brands could emerge as additional (new) spenders during the festive season", added Khemka.
Mishra opined that brands are usually used to planning for two big advertising campaigns per year. “One is the IPL, and the other is during the festive months. This year, the World Cup will act as an extension to the festive months, and brands will look to capitalise by planning for longer campaigns involving more spends," he surmised.