I think one of the key aspects that work in favour of kabaddi is the unique activations.
Aggressive marketing, improving the quality of content, corporate and government backing and a franchise model, have made Kabaddi a popular sport for the consumers. And with the second highest TVR and comprehensive on-ground and on-air integrations, Premier Kabaddi League (PKL) and, consequently Kabaddi, has given marketers an alternative option.
We interviewed Mr. Melroy D’Souza, Chief Operating Officer, Professional Management Group (a sports marketing company which is part of the Madison World), for his views on the phenomenon that Kabaddi is turning out to be. Edited Excerpts:
The culture of watching and playing sports, besides cricket, has gained ground in India. What factors do you attribute this growth to?
The key factors attributing to this growth are:
Aggressive Media Marketing Making content of international quality as well as television friendly Educating viewers of the sport Good international performances by Indian athletes in sports like Badminton and Football
Increase in corporate and government backing
Franchise model which helps grow the sport in different regions
Kabaddi is now a popular sport among kids and now that it is growing in scale, it will still continue to attract the tier 2 and tier 3 markets? How does that work for you?
One of the key focus areas of Kabaddi are kids. This is because Star Sports has identified that for the sport to grow further, active participation by kids is important wherein they need to play the sport, watch or support the sport being played by their peers. Hence the Kabaddi Kids initiative by Star Sports wherein they go out to more than 2,000 schools.
With the addition of four new teams in season 5, PKL became India’s biggest sporting league in terms of geographical representation with 12 franchises from 11 states on board. How would you predict its growth trajectory?
Kabaddi has had a phenomenal growth trajectory over the last four years. The league by itself has now matured with its structure in relation to its format and franchises. The last PKL saw an average BARC TVR of 1.5 for M15 AB U+R, CUM Reach. It reached out to over 313 million people. The sport will now look to consolidate its growth but will try and increase its reach in urban markets. This is key for advertisers.
Looking at the growth trajectory of PKL what gives it an edge and makes it a marketer’s favourite?
I think Cricket is still a marketers favourite. However it has given advertisers an alternate option. The reason why the sport has an edge with marketers is as follows:
Comprehensive integration - on ground and on air
Strong brand integration on live TV Accessibility to players for campaign Cover the length and breadth with 12 teams
Second highest TVR after cricket
A league like PKL offers brands an opportunity for some unique activations. How can brands take advantage of such opportunities by doing customized activations?
I think one of the key aspects that works in favour of Kabaddi, is the unique type of activations. Besides Gillette, the Mutual Funds Sahi Hai integration is another initiative which strikes out. The usage of the players as common people investing in mutual funds and removing the myths surrounding it was a brilliant campaign. The usage of players and their active integration during the matches (TVC + Live Integration + Digital) is an opportunity for brands to relay the stories and relate to the masses.
Melroy D’Souza Chief Operating Officer Professional Management Group