PKL has given a new shape and spot­light to Kabaddi.

The Brand Reporter - - BRANDS AND SPORTS MARKETING - Yad­vin­der Singh Gu­le­ria Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent, Sales & Mar­ket­ing Honda Mo­tor­cy­cle & Scooter In­dia

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.

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