LeaderSpeak by Pankaj Dubey, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Eicher Polaris Pvt Ltd

For a long time now, cricket has been used by corporates as the vehicle to announce the foray of a new product into the market. Sport in general has provided the platform to endorse the saleability of the product, but when it is associated with cricket, and especially Indian cricket, the product becomes a household name because of the great reach of live television across age and gender.

Cricket has tremendous following in the subcontinent, and has a long history of being a part of Indian culture. Its USP is mass participation, which adds to its popularity. Also, the game is embedded in the consciousness of the viewers, which gives it assured exposure – from the masses, as well as from the media – and therefore makes it ideal to market a product through.

Our participation during India’s tour of Sri Lanka in earlier this year was a calculative approach. Because it was our maiden association as sponsors with cricket, we wanted to leverage further on the brand Multix, which was created post its launch in 2015. The association was meant to cater to Multix’s target audiences primarily residing in Tier II and Tier III cities in India, and simultaneously to showcase it to audiences at large.

To maintain our brand salience throughout the match and to sustain the momentum of the various stake-holders involved, our team conceptualised using Multix as the drinks trolley. This first-of-a-kind branding initiative launched by an automotive company was spread over 21 playing days – three Test matches, five One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 International. Multix rolled down elegantly from its reserved area every hour, its image further enhanced by knowledgeable commentators espousing its virtues.

Be it on the giant screen or at the perimeter boards, our brand was displayed at all prominent locations to maximise attention. The visibility of brand Multix became even more pronounced when it was presented to Jasprit Bumrah, the man of the ODI series. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the former India captain and a known connoisseur of automobiles, took control of the wheel as he treated his teammates to a spin around the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. It was a proud moment for us to see the entire Indian cricket team on Multix.

The enchanting image of Dhoni driving Multix became an instant hit and captured the imagination of the cricket fans. The association levied massive impact on our brand Multix as it revived old memories of Ravi Shastri driving his Audi around the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia after winning the Champion of Champions honours at the World Championship of Cricket in 1985.

Multix was admired and liked by many in Sri Lanka, and its presence during the cricket tour of Sri Lanka triggered an emotional connect in our existing consumers as well as our stake-holders. It also galvanised interest, as evidenced by a 30% increase in hits on EPPL’s official website.