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Sporting entities to evolve by building digital and social assets: GroupM ESP

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MUMBAI: The year 2014 saw the sports landscape in the country being altered as maiden sports leagues were introduced. But what will be the road ahead for the category? GroupM ESP (Entertainment and Sports  Partnerships) has released its top 10 trends for 2015 to look out for in sports and entertainment marketing.

The report states that with the rise of leagues across various sporting formats and with increase in co-branded promotions, the opportunities for brands to associate with movies and sports are also increasing. Positioned at the intersection of media and marketing, the study predicted the following for the year ahead:

1) An increased role and usage of celebrities as digital influencers.



2) Sporting entities will evolve by building digital and social assets to drive their valuation.



3) A blurring gap between the entertainment and sports category.



4) “Associative” to “Associative + Integration + Surround + Social.”



5) From Advertisers to Sponsors.



6) New avenues for traditional licensing – for example, branded real estate.



7) TV fiction characters to be seen as brand ambassadors



8) Non-cricket sports to help expand the sports business ecosystem



9) Sports businesses to help build strong grassroots engagement through experiential programs



10) And finally, music concerts to grow bigger than award shows

Commenting on the trends, GroupM ESP national director Vinit Karnik said, “As we scale up our practice, 2015 will see a change in the way consumers interact with the sports and entertainment category. Sporting entities will evolve by building digital and social assets to drive their valuation and brands will increase role and usage of celebrities as influencers especially across digital assets.”

He further adds that celebrities have been using the digital medium extensively - from promoting their movies to inviting fans to attend a social cause - celebs have been making use of the medium in a great way. “With millions of followers, celebrities have the power to influence their fans and effectively get their message forward,” Karnik added.

He informs that in order to increase the fan base, sporting franchisees and leagues will develop fan following around them by efficient use of the digital medium. “With immense focus on digital rights of sporting leagues, digital video sites will be competing with television broadcasters for eyeballs in the near future,” he concluded.

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