'Digital media will gain ground in sports events in 2016'

Mumbai, Jan 7: Digital media will emerge as a powerful dissemination platform for audiences unable to follow live sports or event telecasts during 2016, according to ESP Properties (Entertainment & Sports Partnerships), a specialist business unit of GroupM.

Clips and short format videos capturing highlights or key moments will emerge as the new avenue to reach audiences who are pressed for time, it noted.

'Digital media will gain ground in 2016'

"The modern sports experience isn't confined to the stadium. Nearly half of all sports fans prefer to follow their teams digitally and frequently use their laptops or smartphones to look up sports-related content during a game.

"In this digital sports sphere, marketers are developing clever ways to engage with modern fans," ESP Properties Business Head Vinit Karnik said.

ESP Properties expects an increase in the number of online e-sports tournaments being hosted in India. For non-cricketing sports, it said central sponsorship is important for brands and advertisers, and they will make a beeline for central sponsorships of leagues.

Non-cricketing sports will increasingly bundle on-air inventory with on-ground entitlements and create a better value for both rights owners and advertisers, it said, adding that non-cricketing sports are inherently not advertiser-friendly when it comes to availability of on-air inventory.

It added that emerging sporting leagues will offer bi-annual schedules or longer seasons to attract and retain audiences and advertisers.

"The Indian sports and entertainment industry is going through exciting times.

"From gaming to short format videos, 2016 will unapologetically be all about changing the existing norms. With the rise of leagues across various sporting formats and with the increase in co-branded promotions, the opportunities for brands to associate with movies and sports are also increasing," Karnik said.

Broadcast of non-cricketing sports would be on high reach as national and regional channels will successfully expand the audience base, which in turn will attract more advertisers, ESP Properties said.

It expects brands to seek more credible consumer influencers and leverage them in the social media space instead of creating high profile TV campaigns using celebrity brand ambassadors.

It also envisages brands partnering with films to opt for longer windows of co-branded association. Product placement in films will see more thematic and contextual yet subtler integrations, replacing passive and overt brand placements, it said.

ESP Properties also expects brands and studios to enter into non-cash exchanges where brands will offer content creators their platforms and owned media to extend and expand their reach in exchange for the license to co-promote the films.


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