NMIMS | Strategic Management Assignment Solution for September 2023

The Pro Kabbadi League PKL is India’s leading kabaddi league but is struggling with sponsorship. What could be the reasons for this lack of sponsor interest? What strategies would you recommend to the league management if you were its strategy consultant?


Reasons for Lack of Sponsor Interest in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL):

  1. Limited Reach and Awareness: Kabaddi, while popular in certain regions of India, may have limited national or international appeal compared to other sports. Lack of widespread reach and awareness among potential sponsors can result in a lack of interest.
  2. Perception as a Regional Sport: Kabaddi’s perception as a regional sport primarily popular in specific states or communities may deter national or international brands from investing in sponsorship opportunities. The league needs to overcome this perception and position itself as a mainstream and globally appealing sporting event.
  3. Competition from Other Sports: The sports sponsorship landscape in India is highly competitive, with established sports like cricket, football, and badminton attracting significant sponsor interest. The PKL faces tough competition for sponsorship budgets from these well-established sports.
  4. Limited Brand Integration Opportunities: Kabaddi, being a relatively new and evolving sport, may not offer as many avenues for brand integration compared to more traditional sports. Sponsors often look for extensive branding opportunities and visibility that can align with their marketing objectives.
  5. Lack of Long-Term Commitment: Some potential sponsors may be hesitant to invest in the PKL due to concerns about the league’s long-term sustainability and growth prospects. A track record of consistent organization and financial stability is essential to build trust and attract sponsors.

Strategies to Boost Sponsorship for the Pro Kabaddi League:

  1. Enhance Brand Visibility and Reach: Invest in marketing and promotional activities to increase the league’s visibility nationally and internationally. This includes leveraging digital platforms, social media, television coverage, and partnerships with broadcasters to expand the league’s reach and attract a larger audience.
  2. Target Diverse Sponsorship Categories: Expand the focus beyond traditional sports-related sponsors and attract sponsors from diverse industries. Identify potential sectors that align with the league’s target audience and demographics, such as consumer goods, technology, automotive, and telecommunications.
  3. Develop Compelling Sponsorship Packages: Create attractive sponsorship packages that offer meaningful brand integration opportunities. This could include on-ground branding, digital advertising, content collaborations, merchandise partnerships, and experiential marketing activations during matches.
  4. Cultivate Long-Term Partnerships: Foster long-term relationships with sponsors by providing value beyond a single season. Offer multi-year sponsorship options that provide sponsors with increased brand exposure and benefits over time. Demonstrate the league’s commitment to long-term growth and stability.
  5. Engage Influencers and Celebrities: Collaborate with popular influencers, celebrities, and athletes to create buzz and excitement around the league. Their endorsement and involvement can attract sponsor interest and enhance the league’s image and appeal.
  6. Showcasing Innovation and Fan Engagement: Implement innovative technologies and fan engagement initiatives to enhance the match experience, both in-stadium and digitally. This can include interactive fan zones, virtual reality experiences, fan contests, and gamification elements to increase fan participation and attract sponsors looking for unique activation opportunities.
  7. Data-Driven Sponsorship Insights: Utilize data analytics to understand the target audience, fan demographics, and viewership patterns. Provide sponsors with insights and analytics to demonstrate the value and return on investment (ROI) of their sponsorship association.

By implementing these strategies, the Pro Kabaddi League can enhance its brand perception, expand its sponsor base, and secure long-term partnerships. It is crucial for the league to showcase its growth potential, engagement opportunities, and value proposition to attract sponsors and establish itself as a viable and attractive platform for brands to invest in.

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