Interview: Kent RO chooses ICC World Cup 2019 to pitch their International Expansion

ICC World Cup 2019

As KENT RO Systems Ltd. take on the principal sponsorship of Srilankan team for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Dr. Mahesh Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, KENT RO Systems Ltd. shares with us details of this interesting move along with the future of sports advertising.

With the fandom for leagues like IPL, T-20, Pro Kabbadi etc. reaching a new high, brands as well as sports associations have not been shy about capturing this widespread, ever-growing audience either as they set out to redefine Sports marketing.

KENT RO plans to foray into international markets making optimum use of the unmatched euphoria of sporting events. One of those leading in advertising expenditure, the brand hasn’t been hesitant about roping in the best celebrities. Mahesh Gupta also believes their 360 degree media approach along with due acknowledgement of the power of digital media makes for a fairly effective approach amidst the domino effect of Sports advertising.

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

We have been associated with cricket in various formats. ICC Cricket World Cup is the most popular format of the game and the highest order of agility, concentration and expert skill of the game. Our partnership with the World cup 2019 as the principal sponsor of the Srilankan cricket team is aimed at reaching out to passionate cricket fans and increasing consumer base of KENT in international markets. The kind of euphoria induced amongst consumers during a sporting event is unmatched, that’s the best time to reach out to the captive audience.

What is the idea behind sponsoring the Sri Lankan team as opposed to the Indian team? Please share the insights behind the decision.

We have been looking to aggressively expand our business in the region and partnering with dealers and distributors is a significant step in that direction and will be exploring further prospects

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

Now, sports entertainment has taken a stupendous new meaning and KENT has been collaborating with multiple sports events like IPL, T-20, Pro Kabaddi and more, in order to connect with its audience. It all depends on the popularity of the game. While cricket continues to be the driver of Indian Sports, brands these days are open for engagement and experiential opportunities with other sports, creating newer platforms for connecting with newer audiences.

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

KENT RO has recently signed up as the principal sponsor for the Sri Lankan cricket team for the upcoming World Cup. Signing up as the principal sponsor for Sri Lanka Cricket Team was a part of the company’s broader expansion plans in the international markets in the next few years. This will help connect with not just the large number of consumers in the country but also a large number of Sri Lankans in Dubai and the Middle East.

It is a strategic move to cater to international markets. Kent has a large number of Sri Lankan consumers and has a great distribution system in Sri Lanka. This sponsorship of Sri Lankan Cricket Team will expand Kent’s presence in Sri Lanka. We sell around 500 units of RO every month and I think our presence there would further grow up. In one year, we are looking at doing around 1,000 units; and 2,000 later on.

Also Read: #CWCSpot: Amul to bat with Afghanistan Cricket team for ICC World Cup 2019

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

We are exploring a range of media and marketing channels to advertise this campaign, including TV, print, social and other digital platforms. However, we firmly believe in and support the power of digital. It can open new avenues for business growth. Keeping this in mind, we plan to be increasingly active during the World Cup on various social and digital platforms, starting with contests for our customers.

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

We are taking a 360-degree media approach and using print, electronic as well as digital. Our purpose is to reach out to as many consumers as we can with valuable information. With Hema Malini as the face of the company, it has been made easier for the company to be recognized as our customers recall us through her face. We, recently, launched a campaign with Shahrukh Khan for our new product range KENT Cameye – the next-gen automotive security device.

With 12-14% of its turnover spent on advertisements, Kent has the highest marketing spend in the industry. While the ads gave Kent considerable brand recall, the company has also worked on improving its reach. Kent is now also looking at avenues, other than advertising, to reach out to potential customers.

In the present-day market, the digital platform is the sole marketing medium that has a wide reach. And after the huge success of our 2-3 digital campaigns, we plan to come up with 4-5 more ad campaigns on the digital platform.

3 sports marketing trends that brands need to look out for 

Sports Marketing has undergone a huge transformation from vanilla in-stadia advertising to integrated content campaigns and structured sponsorships and deals. In a perpetual state of evolution and moving towards a more systematized sporting economy, India is at the brink of a much larger wave that consists of varied hues of content, sponsors, fans, in-stadia experiences, and sports as a whole.

The domino effect of the changing landscape is not just restricted to mass appeal sports such as cricket and football but midscale, upscale and elite sports such as tennis and golf have also been embraced equally by the populace.v




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