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Nokia, Castrol in pact with ESS for interactive on-air promos

SINGAPORE: Nokia and Castrol have teamed up with ESPN Star Sports (ESS) on the sports broadcaster's live coverage of the new English Premier League (EPL) season. This will involve an interactive and integrated on air and online promotion.

An official release informs that the partnerships aims at making the most of the EPL broadcast on ESS. In addition it extends to the sports news programming ESS produces around EPL matches as well as online on www.espnstar.com and ESS' China site www.espnstar.com.cn.

Nokia Man of the Match: Each week the Nokia Man of the Match SMS contest invites football fans to vote for the Man of the Match for Saturday and Sunday matches. Those who voted for the player who is also chosen by the commentators as the Man of the Match can win a Nokia 3650 mobile phone. The entries are tallied and the winner is chosen on Premiership Saturday for the Saturday match and Super Sunday for the Sunday match. The contest is open to cell phone users in India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Thailand and Brunei adds the release.

Two other upcoming promos from the world's leading mobile phone supplier include the Nokia Spot the Ball SMS and and online contest on Super Sunday and the Nokia EPL Fantasy League online contest on the programmes Football Focus and Here We Go. These will start in a few days time.

Nokia Mobile Phones Asia Pacific director marketing services Pasi Jarvenpaa added, "This sponsorship gives us a great opportunity to communicate the benefits of new technologies such as Java and XHTML to consumers and provides a fun and interactive platform for us to bring the exciting world of techno-tainment to diverse audiences in the region who enjoy watching EPL."

Castrol Goal of the Week: The Castrol Goal of the Week runs across numerous EPL matches and invites sports fans to vote for their goal of the week on espnstar.com. The promo runs through some EPL-related programmes produced by ESS. They are the news bulletin Football Focus on Tuesday,Goals on Wednesday, Here We Go on Friday. Entries with the same choice as those of the panel can win goodies from Castrol. In addition a framed Castrol football jersey personally signed by Real Madrid icon David Beckham is also up for grabs.

Castrol Asia Pacific's marketing director A.S. Ramchander said, "The Castrol brand is all about winning, passion and excitement, and the team was searching for a media opportunity to help us drive these values with our core target audience."

According to peoplemeter data, a single EPL match delivers 25 per cent more viewers than all Singapore cable news channels combined. In a week, ESPN (including the EPL matches) delivers 167 per cent more viewers than all three cable news channels combined in the same week. While Asia's sizeable out of home audience remains unmeasured by in-home peoplemeter measurements, research indicates that 64 per cent watch the EPL outside their homes every week.

Over the next ten years, EPL's potential Asian audience among males 15+ with access to cable and satellite, is expected to grow by 63 per cent from the current 249 million to 407 million. The broadcast of EPL on ESS is sponsored by Tiger Beer and Toshiba.

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