It seems that every few years the world comes to a halt. At least all our worlds, as the ICC World Cup is something that everyone patiently waits for and eagerly observes. Almost all of us probably remember the first world cup we ever watched, and with good reason. One particular aspect of the world cup that always stands out is the sea of sponsored content that we are subjected to while watching this highly coveted tournament. Be it the immortal Coca Cola, or the ever-growing Reliance, sponsors are almost as important to the World Cup as the sport itself. However, one may question why the world cup is swarming with sponsors. To put it simply, it has everything to do with how lucrative sponsorships can be during the World Cup.
Cricket has reached a point where the World Cup would feel empty without household names that have grown to be recognised along with the Cup. We follow these players so closely, that we want to be aware of every detail of their lives. This makes Cricket one of those sports that are ideal for sponsorship due its demographically wide array of audiences. Whenever an important game is on, TV numbers get boosted by the hundreds of millions. BARC just reported that Cricket makes up for 93% of all sports content consumption in India. That provides for immense opportunities not just to companies that can snag highly demanded commercial break slots, but any company that can affiliate with it in a myriad of ways.
Some companies partner up with the tournament organisers to be the official partner/sponsor of the World Cup. These partnerships take shape around the product that the company is intending to sell. For example, Coca Cola could be the official “Refreshment Partner” of the World Cup. Similarly, BookMyShow could be the official “Ticketing Partner.” These partnerships are extremely useful if the company is looking to get on the map and is hoping to be a mass-appeal product. Such partnerships are displayed prominently through ad campaigns, sponsor mentions on kits, screens, merchandise, and even on the field itself.
Others companies partner up with individual teams and players too. Steadily rising, one can see companies offering tickets to matches as potential prize in their product. All these tactics are nothing new yet helps companies boost their revenue greatly in a short span of time. Uber is running one such campaign for the World Cup with Virat Kohli as the face of the brand. Even beyond the urge to go see the World Cup, which Uber is so clearly offering, they are doing it by putting the Indian National Team captain as the face of the brand. This will help the brand get noticed by everyone and will help project themselves as market ‘leaders.’ All of this together makes the ICC World Cup a pretty solid sponsorship bet, if the company has deep enough pockets to afford it!
By: Anushree Pacheriwal, Co-Founder & Creative Navigator, Gemius.