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  • Writer's pictureAtul Aherwar

Motorsports – an emerging platform for India Inc....

The number of companies in India clocked over 12,00,000 in the year 2011. Although this might be a glorious piece of news for India Inc. but certainly not for our marketing teams; who are spending sleepless nights with rising competition. What’s more, globalization has made this competition go global while every company is trying to procure, sustain and grow its market size. There are numerous efforts made by the companies to place themselves ahead of their competitors, so also are the efforts to give maximum exposure to their brand and product information to their consumers. The expensive advertising campaigns, the strenuous public relations efforts are an outcome of one idea – brand exposure and brand recall. Well although this might read as excerpts from an advertising book, but they are not; because now we shall tune this discussion to motorsports. Indeed this is not some sort of deranged conversation losing its thread, jumping from marketing to motorsports; but a discussion on motorsports becoming a platform for public relations, branding and advertising as well, if you wish to say so. Let me illustrate this point through the IPL matches. This championship proved way beyond doubt that sports can serve as an excellent platform for many if not all, marketing problems.

While the international market has made significant strides in motorsports, India with its emerging talent has a huge scope and also a long way to go. The buzz of Vijay Mallya’s Force India team for Formula One racing was a major breakthrough for Indian Motorsports industry. However the glamorous F1 may be more luring for the elite class, but the motorsports industry can potentially touch all rungs of the society. What makes it unique is that this platform itself could be diversified in many ways, for example a motorsports team may have its own set of merchandise, or even inner wear for that matter. The tendency of the youngsters to ape a particular team or a motorsports athlete can make brand recollection easier and effective. Getting earned media through motorsports is much easier, with the internet to our discretion such events can garner greater pick up to the brand.

Well the picture does has a few shades of gray as well, that is to say that motorsports is an expensive platform. However it all depends on how one wants to go about using this platform; it does offer a lot of flexibility. Let us take a few examples of how one can use this platform.

Motorsports could be used in multiple ways that make this sport as a way of life, which definitely adds to the impetus of the associated brand(s).

  • The bikes, cars and service vans serve as moving billboards for the brand, and one must acknowledge that they are definitely more effective than the stationary billboards you drive past every day.

  • The driver’s and rider’s outfit is a perfect way to brand, as for the event they are the stars and many would like to atleast wear the apparel they wore.

  • Products used for the cars or bikes can flaunt their USP's and make people aware of the products and its technology. Example the lubricants used in the bike can display its engine protecting features.

  • The events can be covered by various media, one may also think of having media partnerships to ensure continued coverage of motorsports events, drivers, riders, team, etc.

  • The track or the venue is another big platform to brand and advertise.

The beauty of motorsports is that not only the industry directly related to the sport can use this platform. A health insurance company by providing insurance to the team members can also use this platform.

Businesses can also use motorsports to treat their clients to the event. One may also conduct a free style biking show for corporate get together to enhance relationships.

Above all, Motorsports symbolizes risk, adventure, and style; while bikes and cars carry the element of sex appeal. A perfect synthesis of all the elements a brand might want to have to get a most needed factor – the factor of increased number of eyeballs to the brand.

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