Interview: World Cup gives an opportunity to reach Tier II & III cities: Nikhil Arora, GoDaddy India

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official ICC Cricket World Cup sponsor

In conversation with Media Samosa, Nikhil Arora of GoDaddy India sheds light on the business aspect of being an official ICC Cricket World Cup sponsor.

Leveraging the ICC Cricket World Cup fervor, GoDaddy launched GoDaddy’s Greatest Playoff – an initiative wherein those engaging with GoDaddy’s services between April 18 to May 15, can enter the sweepstake, a lucky draw in which nine winners stand a chance to win. In addition to the contest route, the brand has roped in MS Dhoni to revive their mascot, Bijness Bhai.

In conversation with Media Samosa, Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India explains how the brand aims to reach their audiences in Tier II and III cities, educating them about the importance of online business.

What led to the decision of associating with ICC Cricket World Cup? 

Cricket is one of the most widely and passionately followed sport. Interestingly, as per recent ICC reports, cricket has over 1.5bn fans globally, with India alone constituting around 700mn of them, where it is viewed in every nook and corner of the country.

Our partnership with the ICC for the Men’s Cricket World Cup will give us an opportunity to reach our audiences across Tier I, Tier II and Tier III cities in India, where 77% of the tournament’s viewership is coming from (according to Star Sports stats for 2015 World Cup), and help educate them about the importance of getting their ideas and businesses online.

The ICC World Cup is a platform that offers a convergence of players, fans, and communities. It is one of the biggest global phenomena, bringing people together across the globe, and is a perfect place for us to create awareness about the ease and affordability of GoDaddy’s online products and services.

What parameters do brands consider before associating with a sporting event? 

Sporting events like cricket enjoy a great fan following across the country and consequently also dominate the media landscape. It cuts across demographics and brings customers together, helping brands drive resonance with the wider populace and engage with consumers, building a more personal and emotional connect. With an abundance of choice available for customers, it is essential for brands to access the exact need of the customer and create solutions that seem customized and satisfying to them.

For GoDaddy, building and running a business is a lot like preparing for a sport, it takes dedication, constant evaluation of one’s abilities and an effort to make their game better at every step. We have been associated with numerous sporting events in India, as well as globally, as it aligns well with our goal of helping people realize their dreams and transform their ideas and personal initiatives into success online.

How much have you invested in this sponsorship? How will you calculate RoI on your campaign/association? 

We are dedicating considerable resources in India to help raise awareness about creating an online identity amongst small business owners and entrepreneurs and our partnership with ICC for the Men’s Cricket World Cup is a critical milestone in that regard. We aim to be a part of the solution to help bring the next 10 million small and medium businesses in India online by 2022 and a platform like the Men’s Cricket World Cup, which enjoys such a wide audience base, can help us achieve that goal. In India, cricket is an engaging sport and thus we aim to leverage this partnership in a way to connect with our target audience.

What is your objective from the association? How does it help GoDaddy in terms of business and marketing?

Cricket is one of the most popular and followed sports in India, bringing people together, bound by their passion for the game. With this year’s association with the ICC Men’s Cricket World cup, we plan to further expand our reach to Tier II and Tier III cities in India, which form a major chunk of our customer base in the country.

Getting the right visibility from the world’s biggest sporting phenomena, we aim to create more awareness, as well as drive necessary conversations for digital adoption among small and medium businesses.

Please take us through the campaign. What are the key highlights? In how many phases will the campaign be executed? 

As part of the partnership, we will be advertising within the in-stadia panels along the sidelines of the boundary, inside all the stadiums hosting World Cup matches. We will also be organizing events and fun activities in the lead up to the World Cup, including online and social lucky draw sweepstakes offering free match tickets to current and new customers. Under the umbrella of our ongoing campaign for the World Cup, we continue to support the Indian cricket star, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who serves as our current brand ambassador and face of our latest integrated marketing campaign in India, to further help demonstrate the ease and affordability of GoDaddy’s online product and service offerings. We are also sponsoring the Greatest XI on the ICC website and app, giving cricket enthusiasts an opportunity to create their own dream team of eleven cricketing masters from across the world and share the line-up with their friends and family.

Take us through your media mix. Does digital occupy a bigger part of the pie? 

We are using a range of media and marketing channels to execute this campaign, including print, radio, social and other digital platforms.

Keeping in mind the expansive range and power of digital to drive engaging and relevant conversations, we plan to be active during the World Cup on various social and online platforms, encouraging people to turn their dreams into reality online.

Three sports marketing trends that brands need to look out for 

Sports provide marketers access to a large chunk of target customers at once. With the advent of technology into marketing, sports marketers are scaling new heights. Some of these trends are innovative as well as compelling, my personal choices of sports marketing trends include:

  • Digital only campaigns have witnessed a major boom in the past couple of years, pertaining to the importance and transcending the reach of digital platforms. New age brands are also leveraging the use of live social media platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram live, and Periscope which is Twitter’s live platform, and the information across all digital platforms which is becoming a real game-changer. For our World Cup campaign too, we aim to use these digital mediums to amplify our reach and engagement
  • Gaming for sports marketing trends another strategy being utilized is developing games and fantasy leagues. It gives a platform to engage with young fans beyond the traditional ways. On similar lines, we have come up with ‘Greatest XI’ in association with ICC, accessible on the ICC website and app, where cricket enthusiasts can form their own fantasy leagues and share the line- up with their family and friends.
  • In-stadium experience for a fan is all about the experience one gets by watching the match live in the stadium. Marketers are cracking new and experiential ways of in-stadium experiences for fan Providing an up-close experience to be part of the live event helps to make the cut as one of the finest strategies to help attract customers. At GoDaddy we are engaging via Sweepstakes, an online lucky draw offering free Men’s Cricket World Cup match tickets to current and new customers.

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