How Amul Benefits by Sponsoring the Indian Olympic Contingent

India’s dairy products leader Amul had recently announced that it will yet again sponsor the Indian contingent to the Rio Olympics 2016. This is Amul’s second year as the sponsor of the team, first being in London Olympics 2012. Interestingly, both the deals were struck by Amul’s long-time media partner, IPG Mediabrands’ Lodestar UM.

According to RS Sodhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Amul), the brand supports many sporting tournaments such as Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian Games. He added that while deciding RoI on investment is such properties is difficult, it helps in brand building.

Olympics is a sports event which is about energy and stamina. Amul is the No.1 milk brand and milk is an energy drink. Hence, the association is a good fit. Everyone knows that on advertising, nobody considers RoI; it’s difficult to calculate that. It is more of a brand building exercise. One has to go by his own understanding when investing in such tournaments and also look at how positive the response is from the market,” Sodhi added.

As for promotions, the brand is using the Olympics sponsor messaging across all advertising in this period. Amul has started advertising Olympics through its iconic hoardings with the Amul girl. The same creatives are also being used on the social media.

“We have a very interesting animation film showing a girl milk athlete performing across different forms of sport and this ends with the Olympics sponsor sign off. We are clubbing this with the mainline communication, “Aage aage Bhadta hai India, Amul Doodh peeta hai india”. We will also run a very interesting digital contest on lines of what was done last Olympics, Energize your Indian Olympic team members; this will help create engagement and awareness,” Dhruv Jha, General Manager, IPG Mediabrands said.

Currently, Amul is using the Olympics logo with its messaging on all its milk packets, tetra packs and ice-cream packs. It will continue to sell these products with the messaging till August 21, last day of the games.

“So every morning, when the Amul milk packet reaches the homes of millions of consumers, they will see how the company and the brand is lending itself in promoting the health benefits of consuming milk. For the brand there is a huge equity in using the Olympics logo which is the foremost sporting event in the world, with over 200 participating countries and over 100 athletes from India,” Jha said.

Besides, a multi-media campaign will break on August 5 and will run till August 21. On television, Amul will buy spots across Doordarshan (DD) and DD sports for Olympics through Star India. Star India is the official broadcaster for Rio Olympics in India. While it will Live telecast the matches on Star Sports network on television, the same will air on Hot star when it comes to digital platform.

When it comes to the viewership of the sports, Jha believes, it depends on the interest levels for different sports. The match timings, however, he thinks won’t be a deterrent to viewership as matches will be shown from 4.30 pm to midnight. The opening and the closing ceremonies will be shown early in the morning.

“At Olympics, around 40 games are played simultaneously. So, television coupled with digital will have a better play. Unlike other sporting events Olympics is medal led. For instance, the tally around how many medals the athlete or the country has won becomes the talking point once the event starts. There are certain categories like field hockey, athletics, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, shooting, tennis and badminton where Indian players perform well and therefore these games get better traction from Indian audiences than others,” Jha informed.

Amul has been consistently doing such partnerships across genres. “They collaborated with super hero movies like ‘The Amazing Spiderman’ and ‘Man of Steel’ to drive home the same message that milk is the best source of energy. In 2013, it collaborated with sporting legend’s biopic Milkha Singh as milk played a big role in Singh’s life when he served in the Indian army. And we will be on the lookout for opportunities even after Rio Olympics are over. Amul’s primary objective is to drive home the health benefits of having milk and energizing the consumers, pushing them to win in their everyday life,” Jha added.