Over the past two decades sports has been getting more exposure across all games. In the good old days, we would only hear about cricket but that is not the case today. We have sports starting from Kabaddi that is getting good prominence today. I am not sure how PR agencies specialise the Sports practice and offer services to their clients. Now the next question will be where is the business for that? Business will come once the agency is able to offer tangible and differentiated service. Today we have got many individual sports celebrities who need the help of PR to maintain their image and handle crisis from time to time. More and more brands are looking and using sports to connect their brand with their audience. Continuous advertising is expensive and they would be keen to look at PR to reach and connect with their audience. Here are my initial thoughts one can look at.
1. Sports bodies:
Talk to sports bodies and tell them the benefits about how PR can help promote a particular sport. Efforts should be made to write about a particular sport even if is played in a small city. That’s the only way a good sports talent can be exposed to the selectors and the sports body through focused and aggressive PR.
2. Brand Reputation:
Today there are many sports brands who are looking for reach and coverage through PR. There lies a huge opportunity to identify these brands who are keen and hungry to get mileage for their brands through PR. For e.g. tie up with a Table tennis brand and explore how the game can be taken to very small towns and spot talent. Here there should be vision which is to aim for a gold in major international tournaments.
3. Educate and Engage:
Great opportunity to educate and engage your audience with the new happenings in various sports. For example, in the case of football if there is an opportunity to interview an international coach then one must leverage this to ensure that it gets good coverage for the football aspirants to know more about the trends in that game. PR can bring in lots of aspiration among the sports enthusiasts and will raise their morale.
4. Collaborate with the Sports Journalists:
To make it successful and more meaningful PR professionals should engage very closely with the journalists. One need to talk to them and find out what their expectations are and how PR agencies can help them in getting interesting and educative stories on PR which will help the country to encourage talent across various sports.
The presence of Sports PR has caught up in the last few years. One good example is cricket and IPL where each franchisee works closely with the PR agency to maximise the event. This has now extended to other sports and brands are very serious to leverage this to get some strong credible messaging for their brands. I feel this is just the beginning and there is huge opportunity for brands and PR professional to make it successful.
– Ganapathy Vishwanathan
Ganapathy Viswanathan comes with over 3 decades of industry experience in Brand Communication, Public Relations & Digital Marketing. He has worked in diverse disciplines with several multinational advertising agencies like Ogilvy, Lowe and Mudra Group. On the Public Relations front, he was the General Manager Western region of 20:20 MSL, where he spearheaded the western region operations. In his last Senior role he was the Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing Communication at Eureka Mobile Advertising a mobile engagement company in India head quartered in UK.
He can be reached on Twitter @ganeshmala.