Sunday, November 05, 2006

And the winner is…. Kentucky Fried Chicken

Not LG. Not Hutch. Not Hero Honda. Not Pepsi. Not Nike. Not even Adidas, the sponsor of the Australian team, the winners of the Champions Trophy.
Because the discussion here is about Return on Investment. And while all of us have a fair idea about how much the sponsors of the Champions Trophy forked out for the privilege, there is no information in the public domain on how much Yum! (owners of the KFC brand) paid for the right to be the official sponsor of the West Indies team.
From the time BPL bought the replay bug on (what was then) Prime Sports, non FCT (Free Commercial Time) buys on sports programmes have fascinated me.
Because unlike commercials, these buys cannot be erased.
There was a phase, when BPL was embargoed by the Indian Broadcasters Federation for non-payment, that I used to watch old matches rerun on both Star Sports and ESPN featuring the BPL bug.. and there was nothing the channels could do about it.
And that’s what today’s post is all about.
The advertisers on the telecast will long be forgotten, but those who bought supers (like Standard Chartered Bank and Getz) will derive perennial value from their buys.
West Indies lost the finals. Australia won, and their sponsors ought to have been the biggest beneficiaries. But TV is about both exposure and recall, and, my gut is that KFC would walk all over Travelex if a ToM study was conducted.
And that is the power of a logo on the leading arm, of replays (Chanderpaul’s logo was on the wrong arm in the finals; that’s lost KFC quite a bit). The leading arm of a batsman who has done well is replayed many a time and oft, and, therefore, Gayle’s leading arm delivered a fortune to KFC.
Which brings me to another small battle: the war between the sports shoes majors. Nike sponsors India, Adidas sponsors Australia, and Reebok sponsors Gayle’s bat. Figure out who won for yourself.
There are other learnings from the Champions Trophy – the most important being that even a country like India is no longer able to fill the stands for games not featuring India. Perhaps the debate on Twenty 20 needs to be opened in India; we can no longer claim that India is a country that does not need the super abridged version of the game.
Not there is no value for the sponsor; a glance at the sight screen should give you an idea of how permanent their buy will prove to be.
Quick switch to football, and a new feature on ESPN Star’s EPL broadcast. Sponsor logo on the clock? It came and went on today’s telecast. My prediction? It’ll run THROUGH the match from the middle of November onwards. Can’t predict the sponsor, though I have a feeling that it will be a mobile phone manufacturer, brand name beginning with N.
Photos: Courtesy my daughter's camera.
Photo 1. Empty stands-- you won't see this perspective in the papers
Photo 2. Logo on Gayle's bat -- you saw it many times, and it has sunk in
P.S. More photos tomorrow after I've figured out how blogger layouts work!

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