And here I was thinking that any sponsorship deal involving a domestic team was a monopoly of Sahara. Jokes apart, Infosys has thrown its hat into using sports as a marketing vehicle.
Yes, Infosys has inked a two year deal with Pune FC for an undisclosed amount. Pune FC recently got into limelight by becoming the first domestic club to play against an EPL team – Blackburn Rovers. The deal terms in plain speak are,
Pune FC obviously gets a lumpsum amount in sponsorship money from Infosys. Additionally, Infosys is expected to increase the sponsorship amount by 20% in the second year.
Infosys gets to stick its logo on the jerseys of the Pune FC players as well as advertise on common branding spots. Additionally, Pune FC staff will train Infosys’ football team and also conduct monthly training sessions for the children of Infosys employees
Sweet deal for Infosys, isn’t it! They get an amazing marketing vehicle through jersey logos and wait for it, they make their employees happy. The best of all, Infosys gets amazing press!
Major publications have given this deal a ‘promoting football in India’ spin which might not be entirely wrong but a long stretch for sure. So, all in all a win-win proposition for both parties involved. Pune FC will get resources to develop its team and Infosys- well they don’t make losing bets anyway.
I have to say, I was initially surprised with Infosys approaching a local team because the branding opportunities are restricted to the domestic market for the most part. Or this might be a precursor to signing bigger sponsorship deal with a much more popular team. Or I might be totally wrong and Infosys only had the noble thought of promoting football!
While it is common for companies in the B2C segment to use sports sponsorship as marketing channels, I have to say IT service company and Sports did seem like an odd match. But Satyam (Mahindra Satyam) kind of initiated the trend by leveraging its IT contract during the Football World Cup in 2010 to advertise in full glory.
Whether it was successful or not can be debated, but it did open up an avenue for IT service companies in India to consider sports sponsorship as a good marketing opportunity. Not a while ago, Wipro discussed its plan for sports sponsorship so there is an increasing traction.
What are your thoughts on Infosys partnering with Pune FC? Do you think similar deals can help make other sports (other than cricket off-course) more popular in India