Siddharth Mallya is the generation next Business Tycoon. On his 18th Birthday, his father Vijay Mallya made him the heir apparent of his UB Empire. 'Play hard and work harder' is the motto of Mallya Jr. So the stage is now set for Sidhartha to add more cheer to his dad’s liquor and Airline businesses.
Deepika Padukone and Siddarth Mallya at an IPL match.
Deepika Padukone with Siddhartha Mallya During The Launch of Kingfisher Swimsuit Calender in Mumbai on Dec 20 2009.
UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya, along with Kingfisher Airlines brand ambassador Katrina Kaif and his son Siddharth Mallya, in Mumbai at a ceremony organised ahead of the launch of his low-cost airline in 2005.
Last year's runners-up, Royal Challengers Bangalore is gung-ho about the team's chances this year at the Indian Premier League tournament and the franchisee's marketing team is doing everything it can — from experiential marketing to social media — to drive up the frenzy.
Mr Sidhartha V. Mallya, RCB Franchisee Representative and son of RCB owner Mr Vijay Mallya, responded to Business Line's, questions in an e-mail, on what's in store for cricket lovers, the RCB fans in particular, in the third season of the IPL.
What kind of marketing initiatives has RCB planned this year?
RCB is investing money to engage with fans so that they feel they are part of the team. A significant part of our investment is directed towards digital outreach including the recently-concluded contest for the positions of Chief blogger, photographer, videographer and podcaster for the team. www.royalchallengers.com is one of the top fan sites, with over 43,000 registered fans. Brand Royal Challengers is the platinum sponsor for the recently launched Google YouTube channel for IPL. This association will bring invaluable archival footage from the matches to the fans of Royal Challengers and other team fans. This will enhance brand visibility across all channels of Google among the relevant target fans.
Leading brands from United Spirits — Whyte & Mackay, McDowell's No1, in addition to Royal Challenge, — continue to be the key sponsors for the Royal Challengers team. In addition, Reebok is the team apparel sponsor on field and Indigo Nation is the formal attire sponsor.
How will United Spirits Ltd (USL) market its products through the IPL, considering direct advertising of liquor is not allowed?
USL brands have always associated themselves with activities which mirror the lifestyle and aspirations of our consumers. IPL gives us access to consumer experience assets such as player meet and greets, travelling with the team and these opportunities are effectively leveraged to build loyalty among consumers. We have created several opportunities for the fans to interact closely with the Royal Challengers team, including the recently concluded Fanatic Fans Challenge whereby four fans get to travel with the team as the official photographer, videographer, podcaster and blogger. In addition, several initiatives under the banner of various brands including the Whyte & Mackay Specialist (select fans will interview Kevin Pietersen) and stadium initiatives for fans to watch the match with celebrities have been lined up.
All of USL's experiential marketing efforts are targeted to switch consumers / build loyalty among existing consumers and direct them to the point of consumption and sale.
The tickets for IPL matches in Bangalore have been priced high, barring the students' tickets. Can the franchise make enough money despite the prices? What's your expectation on ticket sales in this edition?
Ticket prices have only been increased for those stands which are specifically targeted at the corporates for their hospitality purposes. The franchisee is investing in these stands to create an experience which is truly world class.
Incremental ticket prices have not dampened the enthusiasm of the fans given the popularity of IPL and the success of RCB last season. We expect sales to be higher on account of the increased demand for corporate hospitality and greater fan loyalty driving sales across various price points.
The fans are already lapping tickets up with the premium Whyte & Mackay Corporate Lounge at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore all sold out already. The Royal Challenge Terrace is also fast selling-out. Come game day, Chinnaswamy Stadium will be the place to be at.
What's the return-on-investment you expect from this year's edition of IPL?
Royal Challengers broke even in Season 1 of IPL. Thanks to the strong performance of the team in Season 2, there was a modest incremental in-flow of money last season. We expect to meet our financial projections this season as well.
The Bangalore team did well last year. How is it shaping up for this year's edition?
We were the runners-up last season in South Africa, so obviously we are very excited about the upcoming edition as we hope to go one better than last time.
We have a good batting and bowling order. We are confident that with Coach Ray Jennings at the helm, the Royal Challengers team will be extremely competitive and will be the team to watch out for.
The IPL is in its third edition. Is the charm of the first year still there among fans?
India is a cricket-loving and cricket-hungry country. I don't think there will be any spectator fatigue. IPL by now has acquired a cult status with fans, sponsors, players from across the world making sure that they are a part of the excitement each year. IPL already has star players — both Indian and international — across teams. It can only get bigger from here.