At the Delhi edition of e4m’s Pitch CMO Summit 2022, a powerful panel tackled the topic “Data & Sports – A Winning Partnership for Fans & Brands” to understand the role of big data in sports marketing.
While the session was chaired by Jai Lala, CEO of Zenith India, the panelists were Gaurav Nijhawan, VP – Marketing & Brand and Communication, Stashfin; Shankar Iyer, Associate Director, Category Marketing, Perfetti Van Melle India; Snehil Gautam, CMO, Housing.com, PropTiger.com & Makaan.com and Yannick Colaco, co-founder, FanCode.
Kicking off the session, Lala said, “Sport has been a game-changer, not just in India but across the world. And in terms of marketing, it’s a challenge in terms of content and sport, because sport evokes a lot more emotions and feelings. There are fanatics following the game and considering all of these elements that the sport brings, so now with the technology evolving and the data being produced, it’s a great combo to have.
Sharing more information, Nijhawan said he believes if sport and big data come together, it will be really engaging for the customer and also very meaningful for the brand. “In the past, technology has really enabled and disrupted the way we see a lot of things. It could be around telecommunications, it could be around FinTech, it could be around how events happened or even sports as well. So when I think about sports and how technology has really driven growth, sports have always been there, regardless of the most advanced technology present in any era. Even the most innovative technology that was present, sport was always a part of it. Now there is a team of OTT players with the advent of 4G and 5G technology. Therefore, it is obvious that technology will also play an important role in sports. And trying to figure out how we appreciate the most from a sporting point of view? Now the big bit of data comes here. From a brand perspective, big data is really something that will add real meaning to a brand to understand what the customer is.
Gautam explained why cricket still remains a high impact program for Housing.com. “The reality is that cricket is huge in India, and it’s still very huge. You take TRP data or rating data or you look at your TG core, that’s true for most sectors. If you ask if your main TG watches cricket or not, most of the time the answer is yes. And that’s why cricket is such a big deal. I think the next big sport born in India is kabaddi. If you look at the ratings it is again quite good. But compared to cricket it is still small. Football and tennis are still niche sports till now in India. But if you ask me as a advertiser, cricket will always remain a very high impact program for us. Football and tennis are niche programs for certain cohorts of our customers. Advertising on these programs makes a lot of sense. And it doesn’t require a lot of money to advertise it and the return on investment ment is much better in terms of accessing appropriate and high-intent users, accessing HNI users. So these sports are still sustenance and a high-intent targeting program for us.
Speaking of the shift in sports consumption from television to digital, Colaco said: “If you watch live sports, one of the most important and fastest growing media for broadcasters is digital right now. . And that does two very important things, which is the fundamental reason why sports are so much more important to marketers. In any other content the user normally has an affiliation, he wants a player to win, he wants a team to win, he wants a player to succeed. And because of that, our users or the viewer are very engaged in this. So when you start watching digital, what shifting sports consumption from television to digital does is it allows you to watch what you want, when you want.
You are not limited by the linear. In linear television, if you had five channels at any given time, you could only broadcast five sporting events. Now, even at FanCode, we show about 25 sporting events at the same time at any given time. So, as a user, you can choose whatever you want. So I think it really added a lot of benefits for sports users or sports fans. And the other big thing, which is essentially shifting the migration of consumption from traditional broadcast to digital, is that honestly, sports consumption or sports fans are more than passive viewers. It’s not just about sitting down and watching a game. It’s about being able to talk to friends whether it’s virtually or in real life. It’s about being able to interact with stats, it’s about choosing, it can be a lot more immersive and digital.
Elaborating on the media mix used by Perfetti Van Melle India in terms of sports marketing, Iyer shares, “For us physical availability is important but more so mental availability and that is where big data always comes into play. compared to television, where we are able to capture the immersive experience the consumer has when consuming sports on mobile or digital. For us it’s very clear that every time we advertise it’s a combination of TV and digital, and that’s where OTT and VOD as a platform is predominant for us. . So youth is still a big segment for us and to capture these 18-24 – 18-30 year olds, the best thing is to go on Digital, the right platforms, whether it’s a Disney Hotstar or YouTube or not any sports streaming site for example. And for us, what he did gave us this mental readiness that otherwise isn’t there on television. Here you have measurement, which is very clear, you can measure BLS, there is data available, there is targeting you can do, it’s very segmented in addition to the types of creatives we do.
“So our brands are synonymous with fun and variability. And we recently did some great creations with a cup in the shape of a tennis ball. What we did was we announced it during the IPL , which is interesting because we’ve built cohorts of consumers who love cricket as well as tennis in the geographies we launched it in. So that kind of segmentation and profiling, I think that wouldn’t have couldn’t happen any other way. And also the types of creatives that you do, Digital gives you the ability to do shorter creatives of 10 seconds or 15 seconds, because that’s the kind of attention span that people have and they’re also positively disposed because you’re meeting creators who relate well to the type of sports you’re targeting. So for us, that’s very important. And over the years, the last two or three years, we’ve seen a digital through the marke sporty ting, giving us incrementality in reach, reaching the right audience and in the right geographies. So for us it’s a great medium and I’m sure we continue to invest in that as well,” he added.
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