Mumbai: Battery maker Base Corp. Ltd, dairy marketeer Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) and floriculture company Karuturi Global Ltd aren’t the names anyone would expect to find in the list of sponsors associated with the ongoing cricket World Cup.
Yet, all three have sponsorship deals with individual teams driven by the desire to get some mileage from the event that much of the cricketing world is obsessing about now. They also see the 80 free tickets they get for each match played by teams they back as a way to engage with dealers and employees, the likely beneficiaries of the tickets.
Base Corp. struck a deal to become the uniform sponsor of the Canadian team on Friday. The fact that the colour red featured prominently in the team uniform and the brand identity was one of the factors triggering the deal, joked Aditya Arora, country head for Base Corp. Arora said that with players on-field for around eight hours, the brand’s presence on uniforms ensures it is seen on TV.
Base Corp. didn’t comment on the financial aspects of the deal, but a media buyer and a brand manager independently said companies that sign up with lesser teams typically end up paying around 20% of the asking rate of Rs5 crore, or Rs1 crore.
Like Base Corp., Amul, the brand of GCMMF, signed a last -minute deal last week to sponsor the Netherlands team. “This deal has also got Amul on the World Cup platform, without mega spends. The brand will derive good mileage and visibility,” said Dhruv Jha, business head, brand experience, Lodestar UM, which sealed the deal. The financial details weren’t publicized, but the Royal Netherlands Cricket Board announced it was the largest international event sponsorship deal in its history.
Karuturi’s association is an exception in this regard because it isn’t opportunistic but strategic. Karuturi, a large contract farmer in parts of Africa where some of its floriculture operations are based, wants to strengthen its links with Kenya. “We have quite a presence in Kenya, and have our own local football team, which features three-four players who are also part of the national team. This is our first association with cricket, but it seemed like a good opportunity to be associated with and support the local community,” said Venu Madhava Reddy, spokesperson for Karuturi Global.
An expert said the association would work for small companies trying to get a strategic benefit out of the sponsorship deal or looking for some opportunistic eyeballs, but not large ones. “So while it may make sense for, say, a battery manufacturer to pick this as a platform to promote their brand. It hardly makes sense for a big brand like Amul, which is widely recognized,” said Hiren Pandit, managing partner, entertainment sports partnerships, GroupM, the media buying agency of the WPP Group.
Pandit said an association with a lesser team “should not have cost the brand more than Rs1 crore”, given that such teams are unlikely to go beyond the initial round (six matches). A brand manager who did not wish to be identified confirmed that some of the deals were struck for Rs1 crore or even less.