SET closes with 6, DD-Nimbus 8 sponsors

MUMBAI: There's just over a week left for cricket's greatest show to kick off in South Africa, and both terrestrial broadcaster Doordarshan and C&S rights holder Sony Entertainment Television (SET) have closed shop as far as sponsorship deals are concerned.

Nimbus has confirmed that all four presenting sponsors (in the categories of TV, soft drinks, two wheelers and telecom) and four associate sponsors (in the categories of cars, lubricants, airlines and insurance) have been signed on.

SET India on the other hand, which had earlier been talking of signing on seven sponsors, is finally going with six

As far as DD-Nimbus is concerned, information available with indicates that the four presenting sponsors are LG Electronics, Coca-Cola, VSNL and either Bajaj Auto or TVS Suzuki. Media reports also indicate that Cadburys and Colgate are advertising heavily and exclusively on DD.

As for associate sponsors, the names being mentioned are Maruti, Life Insurance Corporation of India and either Castrol or Indian Oil Servo. Nimbus Communications CMD Harish Thawani would not add anything further on the issue except to say: "Full details of the sponsor line-up will be announced by Nimbus on Monday (3 February), as brand activity plans are only being revealed by clients then."

SET has closed its sponsorships deals with one presenting sponsor (Pepsi) and five associate sponsors. "MAX and SET have signed six major sponsors for the telecast of the games. These presenting and associate sponsors would account for more than 50 per cent of the total value of the revenues generated," says SET executive vice president, sales and revenue management Rohit Gupta.

The associate sponsors are Reliance Infocomm, Hero Honda, Samsung, and Clinic All Clear and Close Up from the Hindustan Lever stable.

When queried about the seventh sponsor that Sony had been trying to tie up these last few days, Gupta said that Sony finally settled for six.

Adds Nimbus' Thawani: "We can also confirm that all on air properties are sold out, such as "4s and 6s" package, "fall of wickets" package and both "action replay" packages; as also all end match properties such as "Master Blaster", "Best Shots" (another four completes the list). As a result all nine properties are now sold out. All pull throughs are also fully booked as informed earlier,"

Gupta had earlier said: "The live features are completely sold out. Extraaa Innings, which constitutes 10 per cent of the total revenues that would be generated are also fully sold out. Extraaa Innings has been sold as a sponsorship package and fixed buys basis and not as spot buys."

Sources say that these properties have been taken by companies such as HLL, Pan Parag, Bajaj Auto, Aristocrat, Hero Honda, Coca Cola, Sony Television, Yamaha bikes, SS Sanitary Fittings, Toyota, BPCL, TVS Suzuki, SBI Life, Hyundai and ICICI.

The World Cup will drive revenues of Sony into the Rs 10 billion mark this fiscal, MAX executive vice president and business head Rajat Jain had claimed while announcing MAX plans for the World Cup.

Media sources state that the current estimates are as follows: Sony has bagged around Rs 1.6 billion in sponsorships and an additional Rs 800 million in spot buys.

DD-Nimbus has bagged Rs 1 billion in terms of sponsorships and an additional Rs 400 million in spot buys.

For both DD-Nimbus and Sony, now it is really left to the Indian cricketers to perform. Informed sources say that if India manages to reach the the semi-finals, it would immediately release Rs 200 million in ad spend.

And if India puts on a spectacular display and reaches the Finals? That would mean another Rs 100 million in the ad kitty, say the sources.

So that's the equation. Now for the sponsors, and the broadcasters, if the India team could just strut their stuff on the field instead of just in ad campaigns...

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