PKL has given a new shape and spotlight to Kabaddi.
Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) proves that with backing, adequate training and proper infrastructure, a traditional Indian sport can be registered in the ‘favourites’ list of audiences. It also establishes the fact that such homegrown sports can be taken to a global arena. We interviewed Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, to know his thoughts on Kabaddi. Edited Excerpts:
Kabaddi has seen a growing interest thanks to PKL and is now the secondmost popular sports property. Did you ever envisage that a traditional Indian sport will catch the fancy of international brands? What factors do you attribute this growth to?
The last five years have been phenomenal for Indian sports. A few years back, if any marketer was asked to associate with a sport like Kabaddi, how many would have wanted to? But, today, PKL has given a new shape and spotlight to this game.
The energy and pace of the game is not only bringing fans in from small towns but also from cities. It is an excellent case of how the potential of a (home-grown) sport can get revived and harnessed with due attention, care and packaging. With this growing popularity within and outside the country, Kabaddi is turning out to be a potential global sport.
What, in your opinion, are the ways to keep this popularity of Kabaddi growing?
More such innovative properties should be created to promote Kabaddi - not just at domestic, but also at international level. New formats, more games on the annual calendar, continued backing of the stakeholders along with better infrastructure and training should be provided across country which will attract more players to join the game.
How much sense does it make to be associated with leagues like PKL and the Indian Soccer League (ISL) which offer brands the opportunity to get on-air and on-ground assets from one rights holder?
Properties like PKL & ISL offer a unique opportunity to receive comprehensive access to both on-air and on-ground rights which opens up completely new dimensions of value creation for marketers. There are other opportunities like in-match experience zones which a brand can leverage upon. Additionally, impactful activations done on ground with players /product engagement and amplification through social media and PR could help create a higher associative value.
With consumers having different screens at their disposal, a relatively new property has enough room for innovation in advertising. How do you see the future in the light of such developments?
With increasing means and adoption of personalised communication based on media exposure, we can engage meaningful and exciting engagement with our consumers. The future looks very exciting.
A league like PKL offers brands an opportunity for some unique activations. How can brands take advantage of such opportunities by doing customised activations?
Yes, brands do and can harness activation opportunities, depending on the brand KPI (Key Performance Indicator). The specifics may follow with a collaborative approach syncing key ingredients focused on agreed deliverables.