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Brands in India engage millions over Tendulkar’s final cricket match

sachin-T1Brands such as  Google, Star Sports and others cheered over the last Test match played by cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar last week in Mumbai. The media and brand buzz around this match started immediately after he announced his retirement. As per reports from media buyers, the 10-second TV ad-slots for a test match, which usually go for INR 50,000- 70,000 escalated in this case, to as high as INR 1.5 lakh-3 lakh (average over five days). Most brands took up the digital route as this sparks deeper engagement at lower cost.

The broadcaster and title sponsor of Tendulkar’s last test series, STAR India engaged Tendulkar fans all over the world, launching a ‘Cheer for Sachin’ campaign to break the world record for maximum ‘cheers’ garnered by any campaign ever. The campaign invited fans to dial a number and cheer for Tendulkar (saying ‘Sachin-Sachin’) and it will run across the STAR Sports network, as well as STAR India network of channels. Alternately, the fans could also tweet the cheer with #sachinsachin.

Besides, The online content streaming arm of Star Sports, www.starsports.com, launched Sachin Memory Project dedicated to Tendulkar’s career. The portal captures Tendulkar’s 24-year-long career in a special time-line which includes anecdotes and achievements in his career along with videos of famous interviews and innings played by him. Also, Google Plus India released a heartwarming video titled Thank You Sachin. It has already received 6 million views in three days.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) started a campaign on Twitter, where fans are asked to tweet using #thankyousachin and they stand to receive a signed picture of Tendulkar if their tweet is re-tweeted by BCCI. There are eight photographs to be collected in the campaign. This campaign clocked a record of three million tweets in 12 days. The initiative has been a success not only with fan power but the smart integration of the app that allowed fans to tweet directly from some of India’s top sports and news websites, with a widget built specifically for this campaign. ESPNCricinfo, Yahoo Cricket, Cricbuzz, Sportskeeda, Wisden India, Hindustan Times and DNA all took part in this campaign.

E-commerce websites such as eBay, Flipkart and Snapdeal offered Sachin memorabilia for sale. eBay for instance launched limited edition silver coins, hundreds of which were sold within minutes of them sending out a mailer, as per the company. Autographed bats, books, coffee mugs, cell phone covers and posters were other merchandise offered by numerous e-commerce players.

While sporting goods and apparel brand Adidas launched the campaign SRT Forever, Aviva Life Insurance concluded its ongoing marketing campaign ‘What’s your big plan’ after Tendulkar’s retirement. Aviva had rolled out this campaign in August this year to encourage children to dream big. As a part of the campaign, the winners would also get a chance to play cricket with Tendulkar. In addition to this, Aviva also planned a few social media activities to engage people around Tendulkar’s retirement.