Sunday, December 11, 2011

World Series Hockey: Great tournament, poor promotion

The next 'big' thing in Indian hockey, World Series Hockey is in a big trouble. No, it’s not Olympics Qualifiers and the feud with Hockey India, but poor promotion and management to promote the tournament. If I were to sum up the promotion strategy of World Series Hockey in one word, the word is DISAPPOINTING.


In a country which believes in 'JO DIKHTA HAI VO BIKTA HAI' (Pepsi over Coke in India whereas Coke all over the world), marketing your product is very important and if NIMBUS Sports wants World Series Hockey to be a success then they should look at the promotion strategy they are adopting.

Whole new ball game, but poor promotion
First and foremost, with less than seven days to go for the tournament, three WSH teams are still unnamed and owners unknown. Yes, there are only seven days left for the tournament to start, but teams from Bhopal, Punjab and Chandigarh are still unnamed and no one knows who their owners are. Two out of those three teams belong to place, Punjab where hockey is very popular. If we compare WSH to IPL or even defunct PHL, the teams were named more than a month in advance and the fans/viewers could see the advertisement of the teams on TV. But, it looks WSH does not have such plans, no advertisements on the TV, nor there are any players who are advertising the game. The only instance of a player promoting or talking about WSH was Adrain D'Souza in the innings break of India vs West Indies cricket match. The advertisements of WSH are only shown on Neo Sports and New Cricket, no other channel are showing the WSH ads and Indian news media is least concerned about the tournament. Nimbus Sports said that it will be spending over Rs.100 crore on World Series Hockey. With no advertisements or other promotional activities, where is the money going?

If you thought promotion of WSH was poor, hang on, fixtures of the tournament are yet not released. Yes, with less than 1 week to go for the tournament, fixtures and timing of the tournament are still unknown. This is the final stage before the tournament starts and it the fixtures are not released now, how will the fans know which team will play other team and at what time. The only thing that the website of World Series Hockey says is the phases of tournament and the well known fact that the tournament will start on December 17th and end on January 22.

Also, the social media presence of WSH is poor. WSH is only present in Facebook (they do not have twitter account) and only thing that World Series Hockey talks about is the golden days of Indian hockey and comparing it to World Series Hockey by asking stupid ques (sorry for harsh words, but its their fault). In past one week what one can see on the 'official' WSH facebook page is how Dhyan Chand was a great player, natural turf and astro-turf, Olympic medal wins by India, in short the past and glory days of Indian hockey. Every hockey fan knows about Dhyan Chand, the 24-1 win over USA, or the natural grass turf and astro-turf. Instead of talking about the current stock of players and the teams, the only thing that is about it about is former glory days. Red Digital who is telling fans about great old glory days should conduct interviews with the participating players and current happenings in the teams instead of asking questions about the kind of turfs that teams should play on (we only have one choice don't we?)
One final thing that World Series Hockey needs to learn from other sports leagues is the use of merchandise to promote the game. As told earlier, with just seven days to gor for the tournament, there is no news about merchandise or the tickets. Tickets of other tournaments are sold months in advance, but in case of WSH there are seven games to go, but no information is there about the tickets. Also, merchandise of WSH teams, which could be great help in promoting the game, is not out.

If Nimbus Sports and teams, who have joined to promote the game in India, really want to do it then they should keep the basics of marketing in mind and then promote the game. If WSH is not promoted like PHL or any other popular sports league, WSH will soon become Indian Cricket League.

(Image Source: Google Images)

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