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SPORTELAsia: Asian firms want more than audience ratings through sports sponsorships

By Chen Yaping 20 Mar 2018

In sports marketing, premium sports properties can help sponsors grow brand awareness as well as find potential customers. In this regard, what brands really want is to reach their own specific objectives, rather than audience ratings and logo exposure.

At SPORTELASIA on March 14, Ben Heyhoe Flint moderated a panel discussion with Kate Geraghty, Director of Group Corporate Communications & Events, Fwd Insurance Group, Sean Davidson, Head of Marketing & Communications, Asia Pacific, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Sameer TUPAKI, Head of Marketing, APJ, Intel Corporation Singapore.

Fwd: Adopting different sponsorship strategies in different regions

According to Kate Geraghty, Fwd is a new brand roughly turning to its 10th anniversary in Asia. Comparing music, sports properties are quite new for them, but they are trying out new things this year.

“I think sports is similar to music, in terms of what it could be doing with money. It’s cross-cultural. It’s a way of engaging fans, no matter which country you are in. We are in different markets in Asia, they are different in their own ways,” as Kate said. “I think particular sports has that have live factors which some other entertainment properties might not have. So, it’s definitely an area interesting for us, but we also have lots of smaller competitors who are spending big money on A-class football in that region.”

In Geraghty’s opinion, a brand should adopt different sponsorship strategies in different regions. “Now we are looking at how we can align the right properties with our brand, how we can achieve objectives on the market, and looking at what regional platforms that might get the kind of attention that we want, not just expanding our customers intensely and engaging ourselves.”

TCS: Focusing on marathon marketing

As an Indian multinational IT service company, TCS has made a remarkable presence in marathon marketing. According to Sean Davidson, this is partly because their CEO is a fit person that sees sports as a healthy lifestyle, thus choosing marathon sponsorships as an integral part of their international expansion plan.

In 2013, the IT service provider signed an 8-year deal to become the title sponsor of the New York City Marathon, one of the World Marathon Majors. This move has helped the Mumbai-based firm in growing the fan community as well as redefining their services on an international blue chip platform.

Additionally, the TCS also added the Chicago Marathon, Boston Marathon, London Marathon, Mumbai Marathon and Singapore Marathon into their sponsorship portfolio. As Davidson commented, “We saw it as a catalyst where we not only can grow our brand through these kinds of partnerships, but we also could create an internal programme that is really gonna help us create more support and energy.”

Intel: From Formula One to eSports

Intel treats sports marketing as a platform to display their latest technology. The tech company has experienced a transition from Formula One to eSports in sports sponsorshipsk because they fundamentally realize the fact that the audience they want to get to is becoming younger and younger.

Speaking of the reason why they chose eSports, Sameer TUPAKI said, “It makes sure of our audience factors. It makes sure of what brands want to achieve, also make sure of how Intel can really activate. If I can compare Formula One with eSports, I think we could bring eSports to a lot more partners with Intel, bringing it deep down to our customers and audience than Formula One.”

It is hard for us to ignore Intel’s emphasis on eSports strategy in recent years, as the company has expanded its eSports business through the Intel Extreme Masters, the National Electronic Sports Tournament of China, and the ESL Premiership, and the UK’s national eSports league.

Notably, as a TOP worldwide partner of the IOC, the Tech giant has even pledged to use the success of a recent eSports tournament, held ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, as a launchpad for a lobbying campaign to make video gaming an Olympic sport. In return, Intel’s efforts will help the tech company reach more enthusiastic eSports fans.


From what we discussed before, we found that regardless of insurance companies, IT service providers or tech firms, when brands are expanding their sports marketing strategies, they are also planning to find a perfect sports property to help them bring in audience ratings, logo exposure and commercial objectives.

Proofread by William Logsdon

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