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With the Indian men’s football team getting an official confirmation to participate in the upcoming Asian Games in Jakarta, football fans across India have all reasons to celebrate. This news comes amidst the football extravaganza “FIFA World Cup” which has garnered attention from all over the world.

Only a few days back Sunil Chhetri, captain of the Indian Football Team had appealed to his fans to come and watch the Indian national team play, following which all tickets to the Intercontinental series got sold out and India defeated Kenya. This came in as a great endorsement for the game of football along with leagues like ISL which have also contributed immensely to the growing football culture in India.

This time around, Sony Pictures Network, the official broadcaster of FIFA World Cup has taken various steps to engage the regional as well as digital audience from the inception of the game by –

  • Creating an emotional connect with the audience through its campaign, “Meri Doosri Country” which highlighted the undying support of Indian fans towards the game over generations.
  • Expanding the regional outreach by broadcasting the game in six languages (Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam, Hindi and English) over the Sony network of channels. Through this, Sony aims to achieve its target revenue of over Rs. 200 crores and a 100 million audience nationwide.
  • Telecasting the games in four languages over its OTT platform, SonyLIV. Along with this,data such as live scores, player positions, team information, match stats and commentary would also be shown on the platform.

Despite the fact that IPL just got over few weeks back and already had over 100 brands to its name, SPN managed to rope in over 15 brands for the sponsorship including Hero MotoCorp, Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), Honda Motors, Volkswagen, Apple, Parle Agro, Castrol, Apollo Tyres, Uber, Indeed, Carlsberg, Amul, HDFC Mutual Fund amongst others. This number is set to grow over the duration of the football season.

While this is a great news for what was considered a ‘cricket only’ nation, it only brings our attention to other games as well. With Women’s Hockey World Cup scheduled to be held from 21 July 2018, we wonder whether brands would shift their focus to hockey and if it would also get the attention it deserves.

Inputs- Smriti Mishra

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