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The Great Indian Rural Mall - Part 3: Brand Activation Rural Sports

The Great Indian Rural Mall - Part 3: Brand Activation Rural Sports

Rural India is a fertile ground breeding youth and thus, sports activities are inevitable.

Wilfried Lemke, special adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace had once said, “Sport builds bridges between individuals and across communities, providing a fertile ground for sowing the seeds of development and peace.” 

Welcome back friends. Hi! I am Ajay Adlakha, Editor-in-Chief of Rural Marketing business portal, and if you have been following all my videos you already know how close my mission is to my heart on simplifying rural marketing for the marketers. 
Right now

While simplifying rural marketing for marketers, under the six part series on The Great Indian Rural Mall, the first video was about “How to win big in Rural Haats” and the second video was about “Winning markets through Rural Melas”. To continue this journey let me welcome you to another interesting perspective in this 3rd episode - Rural Sports. Yes! you heard me right. If your target audience is rural India then you cannot ignore Rural Sports.

India has the largest youth population in the world. By 2020, youth between age of 15-24 years, are expected to be 35% of India’s total population. 65% of country’s population is below 35 years. Sports provide a platform which connects this vast group of youth. So, marketers need to position their brands, segmentize and target with the right product catering to the needs of youth. It’s a myth that villagers does not have potential to buy, the fact is that they have higher purchasing power that urban youth.

Rural India where two third of India’s population lives, provides great potential to the marketers to tap this youth population through sports. They have more available time. They are healthier and inclined towards sports activities. And thus, brands need to make strategies that are focused on youth by using right positioning of the brand backed by right marketing and advertising strategies. You need to build value and how will you do that? Innovate like sports plus entertainment or sports and technology and so on. 

Let me share few examples. The Kila Raipur Games, also known as Rural Olympics organised every year in Punjab. The games attract over 500,000 visitors along with 4,000 participants. Around 60 percent visitors are farmers, 30 percent are from business houses and rest of them are NRIs.

Kila Raipur games are the epicentre of traditional games such as, athletics, hockey, kabaddi, tug-of-war, bullock cart race, cycle race, weight lifting, archery, paragliding, tractor race, are among many other modern and traditional games. The huge gathering attracts marketers to use the Rural Olympics in reaching rural markets. Brands like Maruti Suzuki, MRF, Zee Action and Share Chat have sponsored the games in the past. They have showcased their brands along with doing various experiential marketing activities.       

Few years back, I had an opportunity witness Danta Gold Cup, organised in the name of former Mahraja Madan Singh Danta in the Danta village in Sikar district of Rajsthan. The Dota games, quite similar to volleyball is a 3-day event participated by 24 male and female teams from 12 states. The tournament attracts around 100,000 visitors from surrounding states. It has been sponsored by many local brands. They showcase their brands make sales or sell sales coupons. Now, here lies an opportunity for large national and international brands to explore this huge marketing potential.  

Now coming to the Republic of Sports. It organises Gramin Volleyball League and Bharat Kabaddi League in large scale in various parts of the country. Since 2015, Gramin Volleyball tournaments have been organised in Uttar Pardesh, Chandigarh and Haryana while Kabaddi League focuses on Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.  

Republic of Sports has succeeded in getting good number of corporate sponsors like Asian Paints, Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki, CISCO, Dr. Reddy’s, Idea, Bajaj Allianz, MoneyGram, Mobikwik, IFFCO, Piramal, CSC and E-Governance among many others.

Every state has its own specialised traditional sports activities. A number of rural sports activities organised across India such as Thar Festival in Barmer, Rajasthan; Kambala Buffalo Race in Dakshin Kannada, Karnataka; Vallam Kali, a traditional boat race in Kerala; Kalarippayattu in Kerala; Gatka in Punjab, Silabam in Tamil Nadu, Kabaddi in Telangana, Archery in Jharkhand, Mukna and Thangta in Imphal, Manipur among many other sports happening across India.

These mass gatherings enable marketers to cater to millions of consumers by small and concentrated efforts. It is easy to operate, efficiently to penetrate with lesser resources. 

Companies put their stalls in prominent places, they also use banners, hoardings, helium balloons, inflatables, announcements along with all kind of consumer engagement programmes. I bet till now you were following only cricket or football and now you have got a new opening into the world of Rural Sports.

If you want to know more about how to push your brand into that vast market in India, reach out to us.
And how will you do that? The details are mentioned in the description below. All you need to do is get in touch with us.

Keep watching my videos and reading blogs. If you want something more interesting just let me know and you will have it. Thank you for reading the blog. Watch out for the space on my next video and blog which is going to be on Rural Festivals. Take care. Bye bye.

To watch the video on How to win big in Rural Sports.