Campaign India Team
Mar 26, 2010

'Sport enables easier segmentation of audiences': Transstadia summit

The India International Sports Summit, an initiative by Transstadia that was held in the city over the last two days saw an array of influential stakeholders in sports and entertainment ponder over the past, discuss the present and predict the future of the sports business.

'Sport enables easier segmentation of audiences': Transstadia summit

The India International Sports Summit, an initiative by Transstadia that was held in the city over the last two days saw an array of influential stakeholders in sports and entertainment ponder over the past, discuss the present and predict the future of the sports business.

A session on 'Building brands and repackaging them through new media formats' saw the presence of speakers from technology, branding and broadcasting come together in a panel discussion. The panelists included Partha Sinha, managing partner, BBH India, Shekhar Ramamurthy, deputy president, United Breweries, Hass Aminian, director, Sportfive Group and Atul Pandey, CEO, Zee Sports Business. The session was moderated by Anant Rangaswami, editor, Campaign India.

In his keynote address for the session, Neeraj Roy, MD, Hungama Media and Entertainment gave a broad backgrounder of where consumption of content currently stands in new media and where the market is headed.

"It is believed that the next one billion people who will access the internet will do it through their cellphones. By the middle of this year, we (India) would have eclipsed Japan as the fourth largest internet population in the world," he said. "Sports and digital media have a few things in common - both are about the viewing experience, they generate passion and instant thrill and they are a business. So it's about enabling consumption. For example, enabling purchase of tickets for matches."

Talking about the importance of digital media for the UB Group, one of the largest investors in sports in India, Ramamurthy said, "Kids these days are hooked to the internet and mobile phones and they're growing up with these devices. If brands do not do something soon to utilise the power of these devices, then you shall soon lose out an entire generation of people who could have consumed your content on those media."

When asked whether he thought advertising agencies in India knew enough about digital media, Ramamurthy said, "A lot of what we talk about digital media is something that research or existing knowledge will not know enough about because everyday is a learning process. So brands and clients will need to learn together, even if that involves an element of taking risks."

Partha Sinha, managing partner, BBH India said, "The problem with sports is that the content is priceless as long as it is Live. However, digital media can help repackage hours of content in a manner that can be viewed again and again. For example, Shane Warne's legendary delivery to dismiss Mike Gatting has been seen over a million times on YouTube. What's more, since it's about sports, segmentation and demographics become much easier for brands - for example, you would find a lot more common between two supporters of Mumbai Indians, rather than two people belonging to the conventional SEC A, B classification."

Although he agreed on the need to channelise more energies towards digital media, Atul Pande of Zee Sports Business added a cautioary note: "Sports viewing is a lot about experience. So despite content being used across digital media, we still don't see revenues coming in. User experience of viewing the sporting action will define whether viewership remains or migrates to other media."

Hass Aminian of Sportfive Group said that brands would use digital media to advertise for sporting action only as long as it enables them have interaction with the viewer and allows collection of data about the viewer. "That is why even though digital media has an advantage of measurement, brands will use them only as long as it allows them to collect some data."

Source:
Campaign India