EXCLUSIVE: We’re focusing on brand and cyber security awareness with the reach Mumbai Indians have –  Purshottam Bhatia, Head of Consumer Sales – South Asia, Kaspersky

In the interview, Mr Bhatia addressed catering to the fans of various sports, leveraging the MI fan base, offline brand activations, and more.

Mumbai Indians (MI), the five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions, partnered with Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity and antivirus leader, for the recently concluded 2024 edition.

As the official cybersecurity partner of MI, Kaspersky will offer solutions to MI Paltan globally to preserve their digital privacy and educate on increasing cyber dangers through smart and intelligent engagement options.

Kaspersky clients can additionally take advantage of unique incentives and discounts at upcoming marketing events and campaigns relating to this crucial collaboration. Furthermore, as part of this agreement, the global cybersecurity business provided clients and users with the opportunity to win match tickets, VVIP passes, signed bats, and autographed playing jerseys from Mumbai Indians.

To learn more about Kaspersky’s tactics of banking on IPL in achieving its marketing goals, SportsMint Media conducted an exclusive interaction with Mr Purshottam Bhatia, Head of Consumer Sales for South Asia at Kaspersky.

Mr Bhatia addressed catering to fans of various sports, leveraging the MI fan base, offline brand activations, and more.

1. Given that the partnership between MI and Kaspersky is a marketing initiative; how will the company capitalise on the Mumbai Indians fan base?

Social media is our prime medium in this area. We have used the key players of Mumbai Indians in our creatives. It’s a privilege to have the faces of Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav on our product and to present them as a viable proposition.

2. Kaspersky and MI are a well-known brands worldwide; are there any plans to collaborate with other franchises of the team as well?

If there is a possibility and a chance, it will be treated as a Case-to-case. We have businesses that can take advantage of such opportunities. Generally, it is not restricted, for example, in the past, Ferrari was our collaborator and we used to have partners living from here to participate in the event. We could have endless potential with such opportunities. 

3. How would you assess the overall ROI from the Mumbai Indians partnership?

ROI in this association would be brand awareness or more reach. We would not put up a specific number for it. It’s a long-term collaboration with a long-term vision, so in terms of ROI, we’re focusing on brand and cyber security awareness with the reach Mumbai Indians have. We still have four to five months of this pact and will try to get the best out of this partnership. 

4. How would you assess brand awareness? Is there an expectation that you set before entering the collaboration?

Yes, it all comes down to how well we are connected to their digital platforms. In the digital realm, you can generally evaluate what the impressions are. What are the opinions? What is the overall performance of the campaign? Aside from that, we are also attempting to develop customer offers, thus greater conception of these offers will undoubtedly aid us in gaining a better grasp of our parameters.

5. Mumbai Indians had an awful season; as a sponsor, how will you grade the season or the way the team performed?

In sports, you cannot predict what will happen. As a company, we are associated with Mumbai Indians based on the spirit we carry as a brand. However, when you associate with a brand, it is because of the ideology it carries and how you match the ideology of the side.

But, of course, fans get emotional about the team. Nobody wants to see their team at the bottom, and as a Mumbaikar, I don’t want to see my team fail, but I believe India as a country has matured.

6. Can you talk about offline activations? How can you raise brand and product exposure outside of digital platforms?

We have channel programs for that. There will be a below the line activities, that may display all the banners and dangles and all the PSA materials. We have customised packaging with MI stars, which will have a visible impact. We believe these activities will also allow us to outperform offline activations compared to online activations.

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