KXIP's gets aggressive on sponsorship front

MUMBAI: It‘s hoping to pocket a king‘s ransom this year. IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab is eyeing 30 per cent growth from team sponsorship, buoyed by the encouraging response it has got from advertisers.

The franchise co-promoted by Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, Dabur’s Mohit Burman, Wadia Group’s Ness Wadia and Apeejay Surendra Group’s Karan Paul has roped in 14 brands as partners. That‘s way up from the 11 it had last year.

KXIP has signed NVD Solar as title partner for three years till 2015 to replace direct-to-home (DTH) operator Videocon d2h had taken the lead sponsor status for last year‘s IPL.

“We will manage a 30 per cent revenue growth in terms of sponsorship this year. Almost 65 per cent of our local revenue comes from sponsorship. We were not happy with revenues we managed last year. We felt that there was scope for improvement,” KXIP COO Col. Arvinder Singh.

The franchise has got eight new partners this year in addition to the six existing partners which have renewed sponsorship deals.

Apart from NVD Solar, those who have signed on the dotted line with the KXIP team include Lux Cozi as Official Comfort Partner, ACC, Arise Inverters and Batteries, Raindrops Basmati, USL and McDowell’s no. 1 as Official Team Partners.

Kingfisher as the Official Good Times Partner, Pavilion Sport as Official Licensing and Merchandising Partner, Noida University as the Official University Partner, Mountain Dew as the Official Beverage Partner, Meshi Creations as the Official Entertainment Partner, 92.7 Big FM as the Official Radio Partner, Kabirz as Official Food Partner and TK Sports as Sportswear Partner are others who have decided walk hand in hand with the KXIP team during IPL6.

Singh also stated that the franchise dealt directly with sponsors this year rather than going through agencies. KXIP reached out to almost 60 advertisers for team sponsorship.

“So we created a team that approached companies which made a big difference. Half of the deals done were managed by directly talking to them. Last year we had 11partners while this time we have 14 partners with two partners taking two spots each. Some deals took three weeks to close this year while others took a couple of months. Some deals are for a year while others are for three years,” he stated.

Singh adds that it is a question of sitting down with clients and understanding their business objectives. “We have to match their objectives with our marketing parameters. We see if there is synergy in what we are doing and if a tie up is mutually beneficial. Different companies have different goals some want visibility, others want activation while some want to use our platform for better fan engagement.”

Singh explained that NVD Solar came on-board as title partner as the company since it is expanding its operations to North India. “They will launch products using the franchises players as a platform. On the other hand, Lux Cozi does activation with their wholesale and retail people. They run gratification contests where people can see matches,” he added.

NVD Solar managing director Saibal Hazra was extremely gung-ho about the assoction. He said: " KXI is one of the most dynamic IPL teams. We wish them all the luck for the upcoming tournament and hope this association can reap benefits for both the parties.”

The franchise has meanwhile gone ahead and launched a loyalty programme to strengthen its bond with supporters. Other initiatives like launching a mobile application, a live in-app FanWall and an initiative with the Punjab Police to support women empowerment have also been instituted to engage with fans and contribute to the society.

Clearly, Kings XI Punjab has got its act together on the partner front. Let‘s wait and watch if it will match that performance on the field too.

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