On-ground initiatives for Australian Open help Sony garner more eyeballs

The campaigns that were hit for Australian Open, to be tried for other sporting events.

MUMBAI: Sony has recently upped its focus on the marketing for sports content. Along with traditional marketing, the on-ground campaigns of the Sony Pictures Sports Network for the first grand slam of the year – Australian Open, has been highly successful.

Speaking to, Sony Pictures Sports Network chief marketing officer Neville Bastawalla said: “We screened Australian Open live matches from 8 am till the end of the day for the entire two weeks across all Social outlets (23 outlets) in five cities – Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore & Chandigarh that garnered over 2 lakh footfalls across the venues.”

The broadcaster for the first time in the history had also televised the Australian grand slam matches live in Hindi commentary as an initiative to garner more eyeballs. “The implementation of NTO impacted the viewership of almost all Tennis grand slams last year. However, this year’s Australian Open has continued to be the most-watched grand slam in India with 4.2 million viewers tuning in to watch the first week’s action on TV,” Bastawalla said.

It had also tied up with INOX to host a screening of final of Australian Open 2020 for 206 kids from 3 NGO’s – NAATA Foundation, Robin Hood Army & Salam Balak Trust. This was done to create property awareness within the children and masses.

As the grand slam began, the broadcaster had onboard Lenovo India, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Tourism Australia and Trivago NV as sponsors for the game. However, SPSN roped more sponsors such as Apple India, HDFC Life Insurance Company, Kia Motors India, Play Games24x7, SBI Life Insurance, Tata Motors, Wipro Enterprises by the end of the tournament.

After hit on-ground promotions for Australian Open, the broadcaster is also planning similar initiatives for upcoming sporting events in 2020. Bastawalla said, “We are coordinating contests to give away Australian team signed cricket bats with on-ground partner during Australia tour of South Africa and will also have autographed bats of top international cricket teams on display at strategic locations.”

The Australia tour of South Africa is scheduled between 21 February and 7 March, both teams to lock horns for three One Day International and T20 matches each.

The next important event SPSN is gearing up for is UEFA: Champions League – Round of 16. It has already released a TVC that would be streamed across digital platforms. “Our focus is pan-India for UEFA Champions League and the markets -- West Bengal, Kerala, North East, and Goa -- wherein football is most-watched are a part of that,” Bastawalla opined.

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