Digital Marketing / Inbound Marketing

The 5Cs of Sports Marketing


With the IPL now in full swing, brands across the country are pulling out all the stops in terms of marketing ideation and strategy. Leveraging sports is a fun and interactive way to connect with audiences. When exploring the realm of sports, there are ‘5Cs’ that marketers must keep in…

With the IPL now in full swing, brands across the country are pulling out all the stops in terms of marketing ideation and strategy. Leveraging sports is a fun and interactive way to connect with audiences. When exploring the realm of sports, there are ‘5Cs’ that marketers must keep in mind to maximize the impact and reach of campaigns -
  • Celebrity
  • Content
  • Conversation
  • Context
  • Consumer
Below we will have a look at how each of these elements has been explored by different brands while ideating marketing campaigns revolving around the IPL -

The Power of Celebrity

Celebrity endorsements and collaboration across social media, as well as traditional advertising, is a sure-shot way of propelling your brand in the limelight. The IPL has staggering viewership rates across the country, which is why advertising your brand with the right collaborations is the way to go. Indian Fintech startup, Khatabook roped in easily one of the most iconic faces in world cricket - M.S Dhoni - for a remarkable ad. Dhoni pulls off various characters such as ‘Sharmile Sharmaji’ and ‘Techno Tawde’ - each aiming to exhibit a key feature of the brand’s offering. By leveraging a ‘story-telling’ strategy along with the ever-present MSD, Khatabook has driven brand recognition at an unprecedented rate.

The Power of Content

Virgin Mobile’s ‘Indian Panga League’ is a great depiction of leveraging digital platforms for the right mix of entertainment and fun this cricketing season. The campaign featured over 105 unique short clips - each depicting an entertaining banter-filled telephone conversation between different IPL team fans. This campaign was aimed at promoting their STD value propositions of 20p/min. By utilizing features of video content, regional connectivity, and an association with cricket, it became one of the most talked-about campaigns. It garnered over 1.5M views on Youtube and 60K mentions on Twitter.

The Power of Conversation

Bajaj Finserv launched a new #EMINetworkPowerplay campaign - an engaging and stimulating campaign offering users exciting cricket-themed contests. Prizes included electronics and Amazon vouchers.  Participants could earn more points by sharing these contest details with their friends. This referral system increased brand conversation and engagement across social media platforms as well. Conceptualized here at ARM Worldwide, the #EMINetworkPowerplay included strategies like real-time marketing and gamification. These IPL-inspired features added some thrill to Bajaj Finserv’s marketing objectives.

The Power of Context

Cricket is a key feature of nearly every Indian household. Whether it's the World Cup, IPL, or a simple bilateral India-Australia series, everyone holds fond memories of the sport in some way or the other. This is precisely why it is so easy to capture audiences using cricket as a connecting factor between brand and user. Using cricket as a contextual point facilitates brands in setting the tone of messaging and eventually delivering the right content at the right time. Based on the life of a cricketer, Paytm’s ‘Make the Right Choice’ campaign aims to inspire millions of fellow citizens to follow their dreams. The campaign also displays the company’s goal of promoting fantasy sports in the country and inspires budding players to explore the brand’s games. Dream11 hit the jackpot a few months back after securing title sponsor rights for this year’s edition after the Vivo fiasco, however, that was just the start. The #YehApnaGameHai ad campaign stars icons of Indian cricket such as MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, and Shikhar Dhawan, amongst others. These icons are seen enjoying ‘gully’ cricket - a street adaptation of the sport many of us ourselves indulged in during our youth. This ad depicts these stars as ordinary youngsters just having fun, which leaves a lasting impact on viewers.

The Power of Consumer Insights

With the help of new-age data processing and analytic features, studying consumer insights is a must. In campaigns which encourage participation and interaction, it is vital to know the results of your efforts. Analyzing consumer behavior helps you set the tone and messaging of your communication & enables you to deliver your message at the right place and at the right time. Data-driven insights also align audience perceptions with your goals, using behavioral data to communicate the brand’s message. This cricketing season is a great time to explore these innovative tools and platforms to help drive ROI and efficiency. Running a digital campaign is just the first step, the major work comes after that with analyzing the impact of your activity. With consumer insights, marketers can mathematically evaluate the most profitable platforms to allocate marketing budgets. This will help in refining a company’s target audience to groups of consumers statistically more likely to make a purchase. With such laser-like precision, marketing professionals raise the ROI for a business, by both lowering digital ad spends and elevating the success of digital marketing efforts. There are typically 4 key elements to have in place in terms of consumer insights -
  • Full access to reliable & complete data
  • The right tools to analyze the data
  • The skills to understand and interpret results
  • The ability to act on the insights
Customer insight is vital for the optimization of customer experiences and to understand their behaviour. Therefore, it is imperative for marketers to not only generate insights but to turn it into readable and accessible intelligence to make data-driven decisions. This cricketing season is the ideal platform to drive real-time, contextual, and engaging marketing campaigns. By leveraging a combination of any of these 5Cs, you can surely elevate brand presence with the help of sports. Download the PDF version

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