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Zee Sports to spend Rs 70 million on marketing Indian football

MUMBAI: A month after acquiring the rights for India football from the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Zee Sports is going all out to promote the sport that it believes has in the past not been given the desired marketing thrust.

The channel has earmarked Rs 70 million towards marketing the event in the first year, Zee Sports vice president marketing Gaurav Seth tells Indiantelevision.com. The campaign, which kicked off earlier this month, will last till May.

 

 

Zee Sports is also exploring the option of a brand ambassador, says Seth. The person chosen could be from the world of Bollywood, Indian television or even football. He ruled out choosing a cricketer for the role.

Zee Sports has also created a cheerleading team called the ZeeBras. Says Seth, "The point of the campaign is to asociate football with glamour. The sport needs a facelift in India. For this purpose we have created a cheerleading team called the ZeeBras. This squad of eight girls is being featured in our outdoor campaign and also in print ads." The print campaign kicks off today 17 October.

 

 

"The ZeeBras is a take of from how sport is pushed in America. Cheerleading squads play a major role in motivating fans interest. In India we will also be having screenings in pubs in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. We believe that football is one sport that has huge potential to grow in these cities apart from Goa, Kerala and West Bengal where it is already huge. In Goa we will be having mobile vans visiting youth hangouts like nightclubs, malls and cineplexes. The aim is to spread the message about the Federation Cup and get people to come to the stadiums. We will be taking football players and the ZeeBras squad to these spots to build up interest," adds Seth.

 

 

The first event of the Federation Cup takes place in Goa from 19-30 October 2005. The next tournament is the Santosh Trophy which takes place at the end of next month.

Zee Sports has tied up with radio station Red FM to push the event. There will be score updates and also RJs mentioning the event. Zee Sports has also created a microsite on Indian football. Here visitors can get profiles of the players and clubs as well as match schedules.

Zee Sports is also hoping to create stars out of key players. The on air campaign is being done keeping this in mind. In the long term, the channel is hoping that the marketing push will result in fans supporting individual clubs.

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