Game on for Asian brands

Sports marketing is being used as an important communications tool to help brands engage with customers across Asia, particularly in Thailand and South Korea.

Chanin Thiencharoen, chief executive of iBeverage Co, an innovator and marketer of beverages, said marketing strategy is shifting from music to sport, mainly for leading brands in the beverage and car sectors.

In recent years, music marketing was widely used by top advertising spenders wishing to differentiate their campaigns.

Sport is now considered powerful content for the mass market, especially men, and Thai beer brands such as Singha and Chang have used sport to build their names in international markets.

Singha Corporation allocated a big budget to sponsor Manchester United FC in the English Premier League (EPL), while Thai Beverage, the producer of Chang beer, is a sponsor of Barcelona FC in Spain.

Major sponsors of EPL broadcasts in Thailand are Advanced Info Service and Toyota.

Ken Lee, senior manager for global sport marketing of Cheil Worldwide, the Korean marketing communications network, said sports sponsorship can attract on-site spectators and TV viewers to build brand exposure.

"China, India and Japan are the most lucrative sponsorship values owing to market size and commercial development of sports properties. Event sponsorship is the most popular way of sponsorship, followed by teams and athletes," he said.

Football leads the most sponsorship commitments by brands globally and also prevails across Asia, where it is widely watched via many media outlets.

Objectives have evolved from brand awareness to engagement with fans.

IEG, the sponsorship solutions provider under Group M, estimates that global sponsorship spending will rise by 4.2% to US$53.3 billion this year, led by the Asia-Pacific region at $12.6 billion.

About the author

Writer: Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn
Position: Business Reporter