Television

Sony Pictures Sports Network ropes in 17 advertisers for The Ashes & India tour of West Indies

The timing of the series is a great opportunity for brands.

Rajesh Kaul

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN) has bagged more than 17 advertisers for The Ashes and India tour of West Indies. The network has roped in regular Indian cricket advertisers as well as international advertisers.

SPSN has bagged Xiaomi, Idea/Vodafone, Bajaj Auto, Pernod Ricard, Naukri.com, Ultratech, Amazon.in, Byju’s, Pharmeasy, My Team XI.com, Shikhar pan masala, Apple, Netflix, Mankind pharma, Bharat Matrimony, My circle 11.com and Kent amongst others on board for the series.  

Sony Pictures Networks chief revenue officer, distribution and head – sports business Rajesh Kaul in an interaction with Indiantelevision.com said, “The Ashes and India tour of West Indies are both marquee cricket series and we definitely have sponsor interest for both the properties. There are regular Indian cricket advertisers as well as international advertisers who are interested in using these series as a platform to communicate and advertise.”

Kaul also believes that the timing of both the series are a great opportunity for brands to make use of the platform for upcoming festive season promotions and campaign. “It is no secret that cricket is a religion in the country and the respect and admiration towards the sport ensures that there always will be advertiser’s interest during any marquee cricket event like The Ashes and India tour of West Indies. Both these cricket series have been enjoyed by fans for years together and we expect this year to be no different,” said Kaul. 

Sony Pictures Sports Network has launched a #MoreCricket campaign for both the events. “The campaign #MoreCricket drives inspiration from every Indians’ insatiable appetite for cricket. The on-air promo for the campaign captures the sentiments of every Indian this monsoon, as the top cricket teams and players in the world in two exciting series will feature on Sony Pictures Sports Network. The 40-second film derives a similarity between an Indian cricket fan and a peacock, as both are going to have a thrilling monsoon this year. The campaign has a television, radio, print, digital and social media rollout,” informed Kaul. 

Speaking on strategies to reach the larger audience, Kaul said, “As a global multi-sport arena, we are leaving no stone unturned to provide the best content to audiences across India. Through key initiatives like regional language feeds, second screen engagements, associations and tie-ups we have increased outreach to the masses for various marquee properties in 2019 and will be doing the same in the future as well.”

This year so far, the network has recognised the appetite for WWE in South India, launched Tamil and Telugu feeds for WrestleMania and tied up with India’s leading multiplex operator, PVR Cinemas for WWE WrestleMania 35 and UEFA Champions League Finals across various cities in India. “For the rest of this year and in the future, our audiences can expect many more activations from us to ensure high rates of engagement,” opined Kaul.

Speaking on the consumption of non-cricket sports, Kaul said, “Cricket has been the most consumed sport in India for a long time and probably will remain so for some more years, however, the scale has been tipping in favour of a multi-sports viewing culture. Other sports like wrestling, football, tennis, volleyball and more are gaining popularity every year. We take a lot of pride in the fact that it’s been our pioneering objective to promote a multi-sport viewing culture in India and with our vast bouquet of properties, we have undertaken various initiatives to drive up the consumption of non-cricket sports.”

Kaul also informed that apart from cricket, WWE attracts a lot of viewers from tier 2 & tier 3 markets. Tier 2 and tier 3 markets are avid sports consumers and the network is looking at opportunities to engage further with them as and when possible.

Throwing some light on how has the current year been for Sony Pictures Sports Network Kaul said, “The current year started on a high note in terms of revenue with two fantastic semi-finals in UEFA Champions League culminating to a big final in Madrid. We also had a great end to the NBA season and the multitude of football tournaments and leagues we air from across the globe contributed to the increase in the revenue. We also aired the biggest WWE PPV event – WrestleMania 35 which also contributed to the growth of our revenue.”

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