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SBD Global/July 28, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Indian Sponsors Search Beyond Cricket For Newer, Cheaper Leagues To Promote Brands

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Indian companies "have long flocked to be associated with cricket," according to Rebecca Bundhun of THE NATIONAL. Other sports are, however, "gradually growing in sponsorship appeal as new leagues are launched" and companies look for cheaper, uncluttered pathways to promote their brands. Cornerstone Sport & Entertainment CEO Bunty Sajdeh: “The cost of associating with the highest level of cricket is very, very expensive and out of reach of a lot of corporates." The agency "represents sports stars including the cricketer Virat Kohli and India’s football captain, Sunil Chhetri." Sajdeh said, "Even if companies have the financial backing, they don’t see too much value in associating with the cricket because of the amount of sponsors already present that they will be sharing the space with." New leagues for lower-profile sports "have emerged in the past couple of years." These "include the Indian Badminton League and the Hockey India League." Sajdeh: "Up until two or three years ago, there was no credible, significant sport to invest in, in terms of getting a return on your investment." This September "is the scheduled kickoff date for the Indian Super League." Dentsu India Exec Chair and Dentsu Asia Pacific CEO Rohit Ohri said, "There is a growing interest in sports sponsorship in India. Cricket sponsorship has become very cluttered and ownership of cricket as a platform has become virtually impossible" (THE NATIONAL, 7/27).
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