Sponsorship – Fit or Misfit?

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.



Roshni Jhaveri



  1. Rahul Jhaveri March 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Gitanjali has a lot of media presence and gets involved in a plethora of events. If you go on their website – they are involved in something or the other on a daily basis. Perhaps with that kind of media blitz one miss like the AVICII concert is just a statistical outlier. At least it managed to get your attention –

    • escapevelocityblog March 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      Hi Rahul,
      Glad you agree that the Avicii concent was a ‘miss’; that was the point of the post, to use it as an example to show that sponsorship of events needs to be carefully thought out lest too many misses result in money wasted without any image creation or enhancement.

      Wouldn’t want to comment on the plethora of events that the brand is involved in without knowing more – quite possible that this one was an outlier as you say and that the other events are well-focussed and thought out. If so, then the damage to the brand by one or two events will not be much, except in terms of money spent unnecessarily.


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