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Volume 6 No. 211

Marketing and Sponsorship

Pepsi "is betting on India’s annual cricket tournament to arrest at least five years of decline in market share and close the gap with leader Coca-Cola" in the South Asian nation’s soft drink market, according to Adi Narayan of BLOOMBERG. Pepsi India Beverage Marketing at Purchase VP Deepika Warrier said that Pepsi, which is spending 3.97B rupees ($73M) over five years on sponsoring the Indian Premier League, "will introduce a special edition 500 milliliter can and offer fans opportunities to watch games with celebrities." The popularity of the IPL "has been on the wane" with TV ratings dropping and ad rates falling as much as 15%. Still, Pepsi "agreed to spend double the previous sponsor to ride on the passion for the sport in a country where the market for soft drinks is estimated by Euromonitor to expand twofold" to $18.2B by 2017. Coca-Cola said that it will buy "airtime on IPL" (BLOOMBERG, 4/3).

LEAGUE ON THE UPSWING: In New Delhi, Gaurav Laghate reported the sixth edition of the IPL "got off to a flying start on Tuesday." But away from the glitter, many industry experts "had raised doubts over the T20 tournament's effectiveness as a marketing platform." However, "the overwhelming verdict still seems to be that IPL gives advertisers their money's worth through better reach and recall." Ormax Media co-Founder & CEO Shailesh Kapoor said, "The IPL format has definitely matured over the last six years. T20 has also emerged as a popular cricket format over these years, creating more format familiarity in turn...Building team loyalty will be the key if the format has to now reach its next level." Reports suggest that the IPL will rate better on TV compared to the '12 edition. As per IPL TV Rating Estimation Study, done by media buying and planning agency MEC, the average TV rating for the league stage is expected to go up from 3.8 TVR last year to 3.9 TVR -- an increase of 2.6%. Broadcaster Multi Screen Media "is happy with IPL." MSM President Rohit Gupta said, "This has been the best year for us. We have roped in maximum sponsors at 11, while 80% of the inventory is sold" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 4/2).

GETTING THE WORD OUT: The PTI reported the dazzling IPL 2013 opening ceremony "might have enthralled the Kolkata crowd" Monday, but inadequate media facilities "stumped hordes of scribes gathered from across the country." With no separate media facilities at the grand venue with a seating capacity of 120,000, the journalists "were seated among the crowd" and basic devices like laptops were not allowed. The scribes also faced difficulties in accessing telecom networks with jammers put in place (PTI, 4/2).

Arsenal FC has agreed to a partnership with Indonesian mobile phone service operator Telkomsel making it the official mobile network of Arsenal in Indonesia. The partnership will see Telkomsel support the club's visit to Jakarta in July. Telkomsel's 125 million customers will be given exclusive access to purchase tickets for the match during a month-long advance sales period starting on Monday. Arsenal and Telkomsel will also be developing a number of co-marketing initiatives focusing predominantly on the simPATI brand in the build-up to the match against the Indonesian national team on July 14 at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium (Arsenal).

The world's fourth-biggest brewer, Carlsberg, will be the exclusive beer partner of the Chinese Super League through '16. Carlsberg China has teamed with IMG Worldwide to help promote the brand in its country. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. CSL GM Zhu Qilin said, "The CSL needs the support of its commercial partners to take the league to a new level" (IMG). BLOOMBERG's Clementine Fletcher reported brewers including Carlsberg "are seeking ways to boost sales in emerging economies including China, the world’s biggest beer market, as volume wanes in Europe and the U.S." Carlsberg "competes in China" with Anheuser-Busch, and SABMiller Brewing Company (BLOOMBERG, 4/3).

MasterCard will release a campaign during next week's UEFA Champions League quarterfinals "highlighting its role sponsoring player mascots for the first time," according to James Swift of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The work, "a series of 12 chronological idents," was created by ad firm McCann London, which has been working with MasterCard since '98. The idents "chart the journey of a young boy picked to be one of the 22 player mascots who walk hand-in-hand with footballers onto the pitch" at the start of a Champions League match. Each ident ends with the tagline, "A match they'll never forget: Priceless." MasterCard has sponsored Champions League player mascots since '94, "but this is the first time that the financial services corporation has released a TV spot advertising its involvement" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 4/3).

Swiss Super League club FC Basel "is taking over the complete marketing for its stadium from Basel United," according to the NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG. The club "hopes to create another financial revenue stream with stadium marketing." FC Basel "has been sharing the stadium's marketing with Basel United since the St. Jakob Park opened in '01." The club pays an annual rent of CHF3.8M ($4.02M) to stadium owner Gennossenschaft Stadion St. Jakob Park. Considering the rent, the club "needs income." Basel also appointed former Grasshopper Club Commercial Exec Martin Blaser "as its new marketing and sales director" (NZZ, 4/3).

Betfair, which has completed its £5M ($7.6M) takeover of online bookmaker Blue Square, "is ending the company's six-year sponsorship of the Football Conference," which governs fifth and sixth-tier football leagues in England and Wales, according to John Reynolds of MARKETING MAGAZINE. This means that neither the Football League nor the Football Conference "has a headline sponsor" for the '13-14 season. A spokesperson for the Football Conference said it was "talking" to a number of possible sponsors for next season, but would not disclose specific names. One possible issue a new sponsor has to contend with is "the dilution in live coverage of Football Conference matches" (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 4/3).

BSkyB "has become the first advertiser on Clear Channel Outdoor's new Chiswick Towers site, as part of a wider campaign to promote the broadcaster's coverage of Formula 1," according to Maisie McCabe of MEDIA WEEK. The towers "are positioned either side of the M4 motorway between Heathrow airport and central London." They will have a monthly reach of 2.3 million people. The Sky F1 activity "uses the double LED screens on both towers." The Chiswick Towers "are made from weathering steel, so they can rust while staying stable." They are "designed to complement the natural and man-made environment around them through their structure, lighting and landscaping" (MEDIA WEEK, 4/3).