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vivo Pro Kabaddi League’s Season 9 – A fiesta for brands & advertisers on TV


The ninth season of India’s very own vivo Pro Kabaddi is slated to begin in the first week of October – a time that will witness the peak of festivities in India. During a period of accelerated buying, leveraging high-impact media properties on TV like vivo Pro Kabaddi will be critical for brands to dominate the share of voice among competitive categories.

How can the tournament give the much-needed leverage to brands that associate with it? Industry insiders share their insights.

Co-founder of brand strategy firm Expereal Avik Chattopadhyay believes “PKL is like ‘the great Indian thali’ both for the viewer as well as the advertiser. Any marketer would love to maximize the omnichannel platform to build greater engagement and affinity for his / her brand. Associating with PKL as a sponsor and advertiser will help reach a younger audience across socio-economic lines. The use of vernacular also allows greater penetration into target segments.”

The audience retention on average for a vivo Pro Kabaddi match last season was an astounding 25.4 minutes, according to BARC data, while 59% of viewership contribution on TV in the last season of PKL was from SEC A and B. Commenting on the league’s growth year-on-year, Agilio Co-founder & CEO Sanjay Tripathi opines “Pro Kabaddi League has created a platform that is providing sponsors with high ROI, which, in turn, has fueled the engagement of leading brands and further increased the value of the league. Now with a longer league format and bigger window for consumer engagement and activation opportunities, sponsor returns on investments have gone even higher. PKL is also smart about marketing for getting audiences from all segments.”

Talking about factors other than brand recall that make tournaments like PKL stand out for an associating brand, Business Strategist, Angel Investor and Former Marketing Head of HP Asia, Lloyd Mathias comments: “The league’s ability to offer a collaborative package across broadcast media, social media, talent and on-ground is a powerful tool and has helped sponsors get better bang for their buck.” Further sharing insights on whether the upcoming season coming during the festive season will help drive the brand objectives to the last mile, Mathias adds “PKL is the perfect time as bands build into the festive season, so brands will be keen to leverage it. The PKL has been smartly timed in this respect.”

“I think Star as a broadcaster is providing advertisers with customized creative solutions to drive high engagement every season and a lot of innovations are still possible. Also, Star has gathered its best marketing and production brains, signing on contact sports experts of the business and coming up with an all-out, multi-pronged marketing effort year on year to keep the interest high,” according to Tripathy. 

With accelerated buying observed during festive among sectors like automobile, consumer durables, e-commerce and handsets, brands will be looking to associate with big-ticket events like vivo Pro Kabaddi on broadcast to drive high exposure among millions of passionately tuned-in viewers.


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