The-bat-of-Darren-Lehmann-of-Australia-rests-against-the-stumps-during-the-drinks-break-in-the-same-way-his-late-friend
Vijay Shekhar Sharma feels that the passion for cricket will never die in this cricket crazy nation © Getty Images (representational photos)

When one’s objective is to catch more than half a billion people then there is no fitter way to attract them then their treasured sport i.e. cricket. This is the game plan that Paytm used while it was putting forward a bid of $32 million which they finally won. This helped them to become Indian cricket’s title sponsors for the next four years. The appearance of Indian cricket and its governing department, the BCCI, is not very good. But still Paytm went ahead and collaborated with BCCI. It needs to be mentioned here that Vijay Shekhar Sharma who is the founder of One97 Communications which is based in Delhi described his interactions with BCCI as “surprisingly pleasant.” READ: Advertising in cricket to grow by 15-20 per cent in next 3 years

Sharma was quoted as saying to The Economic Times, “Everything we hear about them, especially in the press, is different from what they are. It [the bidding process] was very professional. This country will always have cricket teams which will constantly be under public attention. We may win, we may have issues [in Indian cricket], but India’s love for cricket is totally timeless. It [controversies] doesn’t matter.” Sharma added, ” This country will always have cricket teams which will constantly be under public attention. We may win, we may have issues [in Indian cricket], but India’s love for cricket is totally timeless. It [controversies] doesn’t matter.”ALSO READ: BCCI acting fast on ‘conflict of issue’ following Supreme Court’s IPL verdict

The community believes in being assertive in their control and governance. Consequently, it was not startling that the complete mechanism, from the time the thought-process of creating the concept was put in place to the team by its media planning associate Maxus, took just around a month’s time.

Sharma further says, “We received funding three months ago and during the board meeting, we announced our next milestone — reaching half a billion customers. We brainstormed on how to reach out to those people and Maxus proposed this plan. We had earlier done a World Cup sponsorship and it brought in lot of consumer attention. Besides, cricket is one passion that every Indian shares. So, we decided to bet big on cricket.”

Now, online technology associations are searching new advertising platforms. Hence it is accidental that the final two bidders were Paytm and Micromax-led conglomerate which is grapevined to include e-commerce company Snapdeal. Sharma said, “We were totally surprised (when we won the bid). When you say consortium, you have a little more firepower. We were worried how high the bidding might go.”