Event – Avicii concert.
Key sponsor – Gitanjali Group, leading manufacturer and retailer of gold and diamond jewelry.
Tim Bergling a.k.a. Avicii is a 22 year old Swedish DJ and record producer, Grammy nominated and currently ranked 6th on Top 100 DJs list. He plays dance-house music and is best known for ‘Seek Bromance’ and ‘Levels’. Several of his hits have topped the charts across the world.
The Avicii concert in Mumbai was overrun by 15-22 year old school and college going kids (at 28, I felt odd and old there!) – this is Avicii’s core follower group. I understand how Redbull, Absolut, VH1, MTV and even Idea and Central connect with the concert and its core audience, but Gitanjali?
It got me wondering about sponsorships and the importance of getting the connection between the brand and the event right – the brand image, values, the emotional experience, and the match between the audience and the target consumer segment for the brand.
Sponsorship is a means of cultivating the company’s image and credibility, differentiating from competitors, improving associations and relationships with customers and exhibiting services and products by supporting events that are attended by and popular amongst the target segment.
Certain brands and products/ services have a much wider appeal and can therefore be associated with a variety of events. There are mobile service providers like Airtel who find their target consumer segment everywhere – from world class sporting events like the Formula1 race in India to the north-east Indian Hornbill Rock Festival. Some other examples of apt sponsorships and associations at events include Lakme and Wills Lifestyle tie-ups with fashion weeks. Similar associations of jewelry and liquor brands such as Gitanjali Jewels, Nakshatra, McDowells, Johnny Walker with lifestyle events like derbies and fashion shows are also fitting.
Because of the relatively shorter life of sponsorships at events – it typically does not work effectively in isolation, it needs to be supported by and be in sync with other marketing activities and communication. Just like in this example – where Gitanjali may be attempting to connect with the youth, but unsuccessfully so, because it was done in isolation – none of its other marketing activities or DTC communication attempts to appeal to this younger age group.
It is vital to evaluate every opportunity against the key objectives of a marketing activity and be able to connect them with the larger picture marketing goals.