Total Sports Asia gets broadcast, sponsorship rights for WRC for three years

MUMBAI: A little over a year has gone by since sports marketing firm Total Sports Asia (TSA) launched in India. The firm is making attempts at pushing an array of sports from badminton to football.

It has now entered the motor rallying arena.

TSA has signed a three-year deal with International Sportsworld Communicators (ISC) for the property World Rally Championships (WRC). ISC are the global commercial right holders for WRC events. TSA will market and distribute the broadcast rights for the event in the Indian subcontinent, Greater China and South East Asia from January 2006.

It will also handle sponsorship. In India WRC has aired in the past on AXN and Ten Sports. The broadcast rights for WRC were earlier with ISM. ISC claims that WRC attracts a viewership of 773 million in 200 countries.

ISC MD Simon Long said, “With it’s dynamic entertainment proposition, data rich content and leading edge technology applications, WRC is better placed than ever to take off in Asia and engage with an ever wider audience of fans. We are confident that TSA, with their multi-platform expertise and local market know-how, are an excellent partner to help fully leverage the unique appeal of WRC across the region. We would also like to acknowledge the invaluable contribution made by ISM in building the foundations for WRC in Asia during the past three years”.

Total Sports Entertainment India (TSEI) MD Navneet Sharma says that there is already awareness around rallying in India with the Himalayan Rallying Championship. It is a question of building up the WRC's profile in India. TSA will work in conjunction with ISC to figure out innovative marketing strategies that will aim at getting Indian car rallying fans closer to WRC. India of course has mountanous and rugged terrain that are ideal for car rallies. That is where it differs hugely with with FI where a massive investments go into building and maintaining a track. WRC has 16 races in one year in places like Australia, Monter Carlo, Mexico and Sweden. Indian tyre manufacturer MRF sponsors a car at WRC.

Unlike most other races, who crosses the finish line first in a WRC race doesn’t really matter. The drivers compete against the toughest opponent of all – time. Drivers start off at one or two minute intervals and are timed on a fixed route. The team that takes the least amount of time to finish the various stages of the competition wins.


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