New Zealand Cricket & Dream Sports sign 5-year deal

The deal will include partnerships across NFTs, Gaming and Merchandising

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jul 21, 2022 3:42 PM  | 3 min read
dream sports

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and Dream Sports have joined forces to build cricket’s first-ever comprehensive suite of digital fan engagement products in an exclusive five-year deal.

The partnership will create unique, fan-focused avenues across Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Gaming and Merchandising through Dream Sports’ portfolio.

Dream Sports’ flagship brand Dream11 has been NZC’s Official Fantasy Sports Partner since 2019. The uptick witnessed in fan engagement over the years, including Dream11's Title Sponsorship of the Dream11 Super Smash, has led to the new all-encompassing partnership with Dream Sports to unlock its full potential.

This gateway to the 140 million-strong user-base of Dream Sports in India will be instrumental in building a successful suite for NZC, including its debut in cricket NFTs - to be developed by Rario, creators of the world’s first cricket NFT platform.

Rario is the latest addition to the Dream Sports portfolio after it led a $120M Series A round last month through its CVC and M&A arm Dream Capital. It has the largest share of cricket NFT rights globally and, with access to 140 million users of Dream Sports, is set to become the world’s largest cricket NFT platform.

Rario will launch NZC's cricket NFT program and enable cricket fans to engage as a community, and own a piece of NZC cricket history through digital collectibles across player cards, video moments, and cricket artifacts; with FIAT-only products offered in India.

Additionally, a next-generation mobile game will be built by Dream Sports’ game development arm - Dream Game Studios, and a complete sports merchandise range, to be hosted on its premier sports content and commerce platform - FanCode in India.

NZC chief executive David White said the new partnership with Dream Sports represented an exciting step into the metaverse for his organisation, opening up a new world of opportunities for New Zealand cricket fans.

“One of NZC’s key goals is to extend our teams’ global reach; to build closer relationships around the world, and to develop new ways for fans to engage and connect with the deep history of our sport,” he said.

“We’re delighted to be aligning with Dream Sports that is right at the forefront of the industry: innovative, go-ahead and well-known for putting fans and subscribers first.”

NZC GM Commercial, Chris Smith said the agreement would be a game-changer for NZC’s fans, taking fan engagement to an unprecedented level.

“The long-term relationship we have with Dream Sports is very special so it’s fantastic to be building on NZC’s existing partnerships with Dream11 and FanCode in this way.”

“We would also like to acknowledge the players and the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association for their support of the arrangements.”

Speaking on the partnership, Vikrant Mudaliar, Chief Marketing Officer, Dream Sports said, “We are excited about the next big leap in our association with New Zealand Cricket, and look forward to exploring its full potential for fan engagement through the Dream Sports portfolio.

“The first-of-its-kind collaboration will enable deeper engagement opportunities for sports fans through newer avenues like NFTs, Gaming and Merchandising, in a phased manner; and lead by example in keeping fans central to the sport.”

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Sreenivasan Jain moves on from NDTV

The senior journalist was associated with the network since 1995

By NATIVE CONTENT | Feb 1, 2023 10:45 AM   |   1 min read


Senior journalist Sreenivasan Jain has announced his decision to move on from NDTV after close to three decades with the institution. The channel's Group Editor said that he will be stepping down through a Tweet earlier today: "Hi all. An amazing, nearly three-decade-long run at NDTV comes to an end today. The decision to resign wasn’t easy, but .. it is what it is. More later."

Jain has been working with NDTV since 1995. He anchors the weekly show Truth vs Hype on NDV 24x7. He was the network's Mumbai bureau chief from 2003-2008 and was briefly the Managing Editor of NDTV's business channel Profit. He has also authored op-ed columns for the Business Standard. He has not announced what his next career move will be.

Jain's tweet was followed by reactions by industry peers:

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BCCI rakes in Rs 4670 cr in Women's Premier League team auction: Jay Shah 26 Jan

WPL has broken the inaugural auction record of Men's IPL in 2008, tweeted Shah

By sunny saini | Jan 26, 2023 4:21 PM   |   2 min read

women ipl

As expected, Wednesday turned out to be another historic day in Indian women's cricket with BCCI having a windfall gain of Rs 4,600 crores by auctioning five team franchises for the first season, a higher sum compared to what men’s IPL franchises offered to the cricket body during the launch in 2008.  

 Adani, IndiaWin Sports, Royal Challengers, GSW- GMR cricket and Capri Global have won the bid,   BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted.

Shah shared in a series of tweets, “Today is a historic day in cricket as the bidding for teams of inaugural #WPL broke the records of the inaugural Men's IPL in 2008! Congratulations to the winners as we garnered Rs.4669.99 Cr in total bid.” 

“This marks the beginning of a revolution in women's cricket and paves the way for a transformative journey ahead not only for our women cricketers but for the entire sports fraternity. The #WPL would bring necessary reforms in women's cricket and would ensure an all-encompassing ecosystem that benefits each and every stakeholder.”

“The @BCCI has named the league - Women's Premier League (WPL). Let the journey begin…”

The country's top corporates had bid aggressively for the league. Over 16 groups including IPL franchise owners, Adani group, Torrent and Haldiram were believed to be in the fray. 

Given the popularity of IPL in India, the event is touted to be a big draw for all stakeholders involved. 

The BCCI was reportedly expecting ₹4,000 crore gain through team auction.

It’s noteworthy that Viacom18 has won the Women's IPL media rights for Rs 951 crore for the next five years creating euphoria around the league whose first season will be held in March.

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‘We are all in the business of building brands, not acquiring transactions’.

Utsav Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Noise, on reaping the many benefits of branding

By sunny saini | Oct 1, 2021 3:32 PM   |   5 min read

Utsav Malhotra

Utsav Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Noise, a Gurugram-based Indian lifestyle gadget brand known for its smart wearables and personal audio devices, explains why after profusely spending on performance marketing, the brand turned to branding 12 months ago and has since then been reaping its many benefits.  

Noise is a young brand; tell us about your vision & mission.

Seven years ago, we started out in the mobile accessories business. On turning three we defined our goal to become India's largest home-grown connected lifestyle brand and thereafter our launches have been testimony to that, be it smartwatches or smart ear wear. We focused on operating around the idea of consumer-centricity because when you're building a connected lifestyle brand, the focus on the consumer is imperative. Over the last five quarters, agencies such as IDC Worldwide Wearable Device Tracker have validated our strength within the space where we've consistently been ranked as the number one player in the smartwatch segment with market footprints in the last quarter as high as 29%, roughly translating to the fact that one out of every four smartwatches sold in the Indian household over the last one-and-a-half years has been Noise. 

 is believed that young brands are inclined more towards performance marketing, as opposed to branding. What has been your preferred choice?

Noise was built primarily to be a B2C brand. We are one of those rare brands where a lion's share of our business came from our own platform before moving to marketplaces. So, it was a reverse of what typically B2C brands do. For the first few years, there was a consistent focus on performance. A year ago, we realized that we need to focus on reach, and that is when brand marketing came into play.  Also being a consumer-focused brand, one needs to listen to what the consumer is trying to say. In our case, we realized that the mediums we pick must resonate with the audience.  Thus, we started exploring platforms that the millennials chose for content consumption. And that's how our media mix evolved. While we primarily opted for Google/Facebook and other performance tools - social media taking precedence - the consistent yet pervasive change in the media consumption habits forced us to start exploring platforms like OTT, and that’s how Disney+ Hotstar came into the media mix.

And to what extent have you explored TV as a medium for branding?  

We haven’t explored the mainstream medium - TV - at all. It has always been digital. We know for a fact that almost 90% of users, who are shopping from our own website, also end up using mobile for shopping. That’s very pertinent in terms of determining what kind of consumption patterns, devices, and mediums they are looking at. That’s what drove our overall decision-making.

How much of your marketing budget is spent on branding and largely on which platform?  

As far as brand spends are concerned, there are digital mediums that go beyond OTT. There are also conventional mediums like Outdoors/Print that we've explored. Some of these mediums became irrelevant during the lockdown. But for a brand like us, one can’t afford to have a ‘spray and pray approach.’  We thought of putting all our eggs in one basket for it to yield results. Hence, a large degree of spends is concentrated on OTT. 

There have been occasions when brands stopped spending on media, but people continued to buy the products because of the impact of their branding campaign. Has that happened to Noise?

As marketers, we all have a cognitive bias towards measurability with regards to media spends. When you operate in a high-performance ecosystem, you're always obsessing over the ROAS (Return on Ad Spends). Gone are the days when eyeballs justified spends. Having said that, we are very clear that branding and performance are two separate engines that work on one unified flywheel. One cannot work in the absence of the other because after a point, performance spends in the absence of brand spends become irrelevant.  

According to you, what is the epitome of success with respect to a branding campaign?

When Google searches start going up and you start seeing inordinate traffic volumes on your portal, it’s a clear sign that the campaign is working. I remember the first time we spent money on IPL, our phones wouldn’t stop buzzing, so people did notice it. You realize that something is triggering all this for you. We are living in an age where residual memory is very short. So, brand campaigns need to be more persistent and consistent. We've had initial success, which is why we have been a returning advertiser on Disney+ Hotstar.  

How do you pick an OTT platform - is it audience-driven or content-driven? 

There are two factors – first, audience profiling needs to be done because the cardinal rule of all brand spends is to target the ‘who’. If we can get the ‘who’ right, then everything else is pretty much hygiene. When it comes to messaging and appropriation, we can keep going back and forth on design and the quality of the content. But if you know that the target audience was right, the content would eventually land in the right place. Secondly, as a brand, ‘sports’ is integral to who we are and smartwatches just fit in. Also, in terms of our brand faces - be it Rishabh Pant or Rohit Sharma - we realized that the content had resonance with the audience and the target group. The message was very clear in those campaigns and the platform was just right, and that’s why it worked. Retargeting is also important for us and that’s where Disney+ Hotstar worked well for us. We could re-target and re-market. In fact it worked for us as we know that this is a cohort that has an affinity towards the brand. 

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PV Sindhu and PNB MetLife say 'dream big' to consumers in new ad campaign test

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi is behind the brand's new campaign

By sunny saini | Oct 1, 2021 12:16 PM   |   2 min read


Continuing ahead with its brand promise of Milkar Life Aage Badhaein, which aims at fulfilling customer needs at different stages of life, PNB MetLife has collaborated with its agency partner L&K Saatchi & Saatchi to launch its latest integrated ad campaign titled ‘Karo Bade Sapno Ki Tayyari’. 

The campaign features PNB Metlife’s celebrated brand ambassador PV Sindhu advocating people to focus on their big dreams and aspirations and positions PNB MetLife as the enabler to take bold decisions by offering them products and services that guarantee the financial security of their loved ones while also securing their own life goals.

The integrated campaign comprises a series of three films that focus on three distinct offerings from PNB Metlife – Savings, Education & Retirement plans. Each of these films urges viewers to build on their dreams and make them bolder and bigger, knowing that PNB Metlife will help partner them in delivering these bigger aspirations. 

Emphasising on the brand idea and thought process behind the new campaign, Charles Victor, Executive Director, L&K | Saatchi & Saatchi commented: “If ever there was a time to live big and not postpone the things we want to do, it’s in today’s VUCA world. And consumers today are looking for financial partners that not only enable them to achieve their personal goals but also allow them to take bolder decisions. PNB MetLife decided to answer that need, urging consumers to dream bigger and work towards those dreams today. On the execution, this campaign is a continuation of a series of films we’ve been doing for a couple of years now that are a humorous respite in an otherwise serious category.” 

In the ad film on education goals, a mother and daughter are seen engaging in a funny dialogue over her future education goals. While the daughter is happy discussing her routine with her friend in a language of her choice, her mother interjects by repeating the same statements in English. The mother tells the daughter she is preparing her for future education prospects…in an international college.

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What brands can learn about innovative advertising from Livspace

Powered by a deep insight into consumer behaviour, Livspace sets new benchmarks in brand marketing fueled by innovative collaborations

By sunny saini | Sep 29, 2021 6:02 PM   |   3 min read


Today, when most brands focus on just one or two mediums to amplify their marketing voice, Livspace is making its presence felt on an entirely different level. The credit goes to the brand’s inventive take on their fundamental marketing principle – be where the audience is. 

With consumer preferences constantly evolving, more so during the COVID period, Livspace has been conscious about closely tracking dynamic consumer trends and accordingly tweaking its marketing strategy. So, it's no surprise that LIVE sports, particularly LIVE cricket, are a critical peg in their marketing master plan, for which they have collaborated with Disney+ Hotstar. 

Interestingly, consumers looking to buy products in Livspace’s home décor, interiors, and furnishings category typically have a longer decision-making cycle. Considering the category and high-ticket purchase, consumers' journey from discovery to final purchase spans a long time. Hence, brands in the segment need to have a higher salience, sustained presence and memorability – three things that Disney+ Hotstar offers in large measures. 

Talking about the relevance of IPL and their collaboration with Disney+ Hotstar, Livspace CMO, Kartikeya Bhandari said, “Considering its massive reach and its highly immersive nature , IPL is one of the best platforms in India, especially for a brand like ours, that is relatively young. It gives us a unique opportunity to showcase our brand promise and reach out to both existing and new customers. IPL has changed the way we watch the sport and brought a lot of passive cricket lovers who are in it for entertainment. The excitement around the ongoing second phase is palpable, and therefore, it becomes the perfect vehicle for us. We have associated with Disney+ Hotstar in the past, and the combination of live sporting events and connected TV has worked well for us." 

Currently, Livspace follows a two-pronged approach of high-reach and high-relevance, which makes it a memorable brand that consumers relate to and would want to get associated with. 

For a high-reach campaign, Livspace associates with Live Cricket as a central peg, leveraging marquee properties such as IPL and World Cup in a big way. Besides the high-impact live cricket associations, they also create pre-tournament buzz and follow up with a post-tournament campaign to drive recall and cut through the clutter. 

And to drive high relevance, Livspace uses a targeted approach. They focus on relevant audiences and own high-impact properties viewed by these audiences. 

An excellent case in point is the regional audience, which is critical to the brand. Coming on board as sponsors of Bigg Boss Telugu and Bigg Boss Tamil has enabled Livspace to stand out, stay relevant and create a distinction amongst the target audiences. 

Tracking their successful run on Disney+ Hotstar with increased impact metrics indicates what brands can achieve by leveraging a platform like Disney+ Hotstar in its entirety. 

Not only has Livspace understood the pulse of their audience but also taken its marketing initiatives a notch higher with a cohesive marketing strategy that has them always on the go, front and centre of their target consumer. 

High brand recall is thus a given. 

Talking about how brands are leveraging live sports as a part of their marketing strategy, Kartikeya adds, “The decline of appointment based viewing has made live sports, be it cricket, tennis or football, one of the more prominent parts of a marketer’s media mix.”

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How investment & BFSI apps can make the most of the ongoing IPO mela

They must focus on extensive content marketing and invest in customising their platforms to attract the flock of new-age investors, suggest industry experts

By exchange4media Staff | Jul 27, 2021 2:49 PM   |   4 min read


After a gloomy year, 2021 has brought in quite an exciting phase for the Indian business circuit as numerous companies are launching their IPOs, setting new records. So far, 27 companies have raised nearly Rs 41,299 crore – which is more than what was raised by way of IPOs in each of the last three years – 2018, 2019 and 2020, and big names like KFC, Pizza Hut, Costa Coffee, Nykaa, Flipkart, and LIC are in the line to launch their own offerings soon. And this surely has turned out to be a big opportunity for investment platforms and publishers in the sector to increase their own user base.

The stage was set when Zomato launched its IPO earlier this month and the likes of Kotak Securities Ltd, Paytm Money, Upstox, etc utilised the opportunity to promote their own services using content and social media marketing. 

Speaking about the same, Bang In The Middle Co-founder & Managing Partner Naresh Gupta said, “These are interesting times as a number of companies are in the process of launching their IPOs. And their marketing efforts have certainly played a big role in taking these companies to this level. Going forward as well, to attract investors, it won’t be surprising to see these companies working on elaborate marketing campaigns. It is also a big opportunity for the apps and publishers in the BFSI & investment spaces to expand their own user-base.”

Zoo Media & FoxyMoron Co-founder Pratik Gupta added, “For the banking portals and BFSI apps, it could be a very easy acquisition strategy with active investor targeting. The individual investor pool is only growing and these apps can easily piggyback on this opportunity.”

As per a SBI report, the number of individual investors in the market has increased by a whopping 142 lakh in FY21, with 122.5 lakh new accounts at CDSL and 19.7 lakh in NSDL. Millennials are swarming in flocks to invest as they get more conscious about their funds.

Merkle Sokrati Sr. Manager-Marketing & Business Development Kartikeya Kashiva highlighted, “Indian retail investors have been showing increased financial maturity over the years, with a more hands-on self-serve approach instead of a more passive approach of deposits, bonds and mutual funds. The current IPO filings rush is not going unnoticed by these new-age investors who want to get in on the action. Additional liquidity due to reduced expenditure for most in lockdown is definitely drawing out even more first-time investors to consider IPO bids. Especially when widely known brands like Zomato, LIC are on the list, one doesn’t need much push in terms of fundamental analysis before investing.”

He added that brands are realising that there is a big opportunity out there, citing the example of his own client, Angel Broking. “Currently we’re working with Angel Broking, India’s leading online share trading platform, to drive new users to their app-first platform. We’ve done campaigns around the major recent IPO issues – Zomato, Nazara, BBQ Nation. While our creative and messaging have had a helpful narrative to inform investors of the issue dates, price bands, lot size, etc. of forthcoming IPOs. The end-goal has always been to drive demat account openings, a key milestone in their customer journey through programmatic channels.”

Gupta further suggested that brands like these can make the most of the moment by using strong content marketing strategies, followed by investing in technologies that makes their platforms easier to access and understand.

He noted, “The investment platforms should be talking about their readings, their own analysis of the market and the company, and share recommendations. And gradually, the user will get more confident in the platform as they will see those predictions coming true. Nextly, customising the user interface, bundling offers, etc can be of great help to retain users as well as acquire new ones.”

Kashiva agreed and further stated, “A data-driven approach to media analytics and attribution helps gain powerful insights into which channels bring in assisted conversions which are easily missed if only optimizing for last touch.”

“We believe many of the next wave of investors will come from tier 2, 3 cities. Brands will accordingly need to rethink their strategies for regional language support, mastering nuances like YouTube SEO to reach and nurture these prospects. Finally, they need to tie all of their paid and organic media efforts together using a multi-touch attribution model instead of optimizing each channel in disparate silos.”

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Govt won’t interfere with content of OTT platforms, assures Prakash Javadekar

n a meeting with OTT platform representatives, the I&B Minister said that no member of the self-regulatory body will be appointed by the government

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 5, 2021 12:27 PM   |   1 min read


Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, on Thursday, held an interaction with representatives of various over the top (OTT) platforms including from ALTBalaji, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Jio TV, ZEE5, Voot, Shemaroo, and MX Player.

While appreciating that the OTT platforms have welcomed the new rules, Javadekar also sought to dispel rumours by clarifying that no member in the self-regulating body will be appointed by the government. The minister wants to allay the fears of OTT platforms that the government will interfere with digital content.

According to a PIB release, the industry representatives welcomed the rules and thanked the minister for addressing most of their concerns. Finally, the minister added that the government is open to any clarification or queries from the industry.

Speaking on the power of the government under the rules, the minister informed that the government will create the Inter-Departmental Committee to look at complaints that remain unresolved at the self-regulatory level.

Informing the industry representatives about the provisions of the rules, the minister said it merely requires them to disclose information and that there is no requirement of registration of any kind with the ministry. He added that a form for this will be ready soon.

Furthermore, he said the rules focus on the self-classification of content instead of any form of censorship. Further, OTT platforms are expected to develop an effective grievance redressal mechanism.

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