Television

TSA looks to expand in India through cricket sponsorships, gaming, WWE

MUMBAI: A year has gone by since sports marketing firm Total Sports Asia launched in India. The company is looking at various avenues in order to expand.

 

 

One of these is cricket. The company's MD for the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East Navneet Sharma tells Indiantelevision.com that the company took the on ground sponsorship rights for the ongoing India versus Zimbabwe series. "We got around 10 clients. They include Nitco Tiles, South African Breweries, Phoney Tunes and Tara Newz.

"It is unusual for a broadcaster to take a board at a sports event. However Tara Newz has been showing a lot of football clips including the recently concluded Futsal event. They felt that having on ground visibility at a cricket ground would help entice viewers to the channel.

"Looking ahead we would also try to get the on ground rights for the India-Pakistan series next year. It goes without saying that India cricket ensures great visibility for any brand. We are also interested in getting rights from the BCCI not just for sponsorship on ground but also for title sponsorship and secondary signage."

 

 

Gaming is another area that Total Sports Asia is looking at. It is now talking to telcos and internet companies regarding bringing down games that are popular abroad on the mobile and on the internet. Sharma gives the example of kicksport games that are a rage in Japan. "Even if one does not like watching the game it is good fun playing it. Our expertise lies in marketing and that is what we would focus on. We have offices in several countries including China and Japan. So we are looking to take gaming concepts that work well there and bring them down here. A lot of games have not come down to India and the phenomenon of gaming is spreading like wildfire here."

Unarguably though, TSA's biggest property is World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Sharma says that the company is looking at bring down two or three superstars to India for a promotional tour before the end of the year much like what rival TNA is doing now. He is hopeful of being able to organise a full WWE tour sometime in May next year. This will have an interactive component where a contest will be held. The winners will get the chance to have photos taken with the stars. Mumbai and Delhi are being looked at as potential venues.

Let's play footsie: Total Sports Asia recently organised a five a side Futsal event in West Bengal. Here each team has five members. Sharma says that the event attracted around 75,000 visitors. Now it will bring down an international football club to India before the end of the year. That club will play matches with top Indian club sides. This event will be held in association with the Indian Football Association (IFA). Sharma is hoping to take this activity to the next level next year where the aim is to get an international side down to India. Futsal will be expanded next year when the event will take place in different cities.

It is not just football though that TSA is looking to do innovations with in terms of the game's format. It is also looking at tennis in this regard. Sharma, however, declined to comment further on these plans except to say that it would be an event outside the WTA. TSA is also looking at signing on a rising star. It will take on his/her endorsements and also groom the star for success. He cites the example of football star Bhaichung Bhutia. It is also looking at organising a couple of running events this year. While the format is still being worked upon everybody will have the opportunity to participate, Sharma states.

As far as organising fashion events are concerned Sharma says, "We have churned the grass-roots of fashion and modelling through the recently concluded Shoppers' Stop Fashion Weekends in Pune and Bangalore. We were pleasantly surprised by the over 2000 completed entries in each city for an opportunity to walk the ramp at the Grand Finale shows. This clearly shows that our young generation is looking at opportunities, at no cost to them, which catapult them alongside established models.

"In line with our commitment to take fashion mass, we will continue staging Fashion Weekends in other cities of India. Our fashion plans also include holding the San Liahs Fashion Invitational early next year where three of the world's top designers will be showing their collections in India."

 

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