Vodafone gets World Cup co-sponsorship
Mumbai: Telecom services provider Vodafone Essar Ltd has bought the co-sponsorship rights for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup for nearly Rs45 crore, two media buyers said. The deal makes Vodafone, which also sponsors the annual Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament, one of the biggest sponsors of India’s most popular sport this season—even as rival brands face a cap on the air time they can buy. “That would make Vodafone the single largest advertiser in that (telecom services) category (during the World Cup and IPL),” said Sejal Shah, vice-president, India Media Exchange, the central media buying unit for theStarcom MediaVest Group Inc. and ZenithOptimedia Group. “The brand has managed to elbow out competition by advertising on both the CWC (Cricket World Cup) and IPL.” This deal was hotly contested by other players including the Reliance Group (formerly the Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group), which is the ground sponsor for the World Cup. The ground sponsorships include in-stadia advertising such as perimeter boards, banners, etc. While all ICC partners such as Reliance hold the first right of refusal to on-air sponsorships, and have an exclusive time window to seal broadcast rights, it is believed that group company Reliance Communications Ltd passed up the opportunity, leaving the broadcast sponsorship open to other telecom players, including Vodafone. “We let it go at that price,” said a Reliance official on the condition of anonymity. “Of course, Vodafone’s offer was higher.” “Our interest in the cricket season in 2011 is a continuation of the same belief that in a cricket-crazy country like ours, large cricketing events reach a very large section of our key demographic. We expect Indians to be glued to their TV screens during this cricket season,” said Anuradha Aggarwal, vice-president of marketing at Vodafone, India’s second-largest telecom firm, in an email. A senior official from Vodafone...
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