#SSIPLWatch CSK association brings additional value in Southern markets: Ravi Chawla, Gulf Oil Lubricants

Ravi Chawla

Celebrating a decade of partnership with CSK, Gulf Oil Lubricants’ Ravi Chawla talks about the marketing plan, created to make the best out of their IPL association.

This year, Gulf Oil & CSK complete 10 years of its partnership. Featuring in the #SSIPLWatch series, Ravi Chawla, MD, Gulf Oil Lubricants India, puts the spotlight on the company’s plans to leverage the IPL phenomenon to boost brand awareness and get back in action.

Edited Excerpts:

What was the insight behind reviving your association with CSK?

We started our association with IPL team KXIP, 11 years ago and eventually moved to be associated with CSK in 2011 the same year we signed Captain Cool, MS Dhoni as our brand ambassador.

CSK is one of the most consistent teams in the league and also reflects our core values of quality, endurance, and passion and one with a huge fan following from every age group across the country,

From a business perspective, this association brings additional value as the Southern region of India – Tamil Nadu in particular is amongst P1 markets for us.

With this partnership, Gulf oil not only made strong inroads in the Southern market but enhance the perception of our brand in the minds of our customers and partners across the country as CSK is a national brand and also in many international markets they enjoy a vast following. During this tenure, the cherry on our partnership has been MS Dhoni.

Take us through your marketing strategy. Any campaigns or activities lined up to support your partnership?

This year we have designed a special jersey to commemorate our 10 years long-running partnership with CSK. We will be soon releasing a video featuring the CSK team to showcase the jersey. This video will be launched across social media platforms of both Gulf Oil & CSK to gauge maximum mileage.

For our consumers, we have cashback offers that were announced on the 19th Sept, the first match of the league. To build on to everyone’s excitement, we will also announce a chance for fans to virtually meet their favorite team players. Additionally, we have planned multiple incentive programs during this IPL season to galvanize our trade channel

The manifest digital disruption has led brands to focus more on social media as a part of their communication strategies. We will release our campaign and programs on our digital platforms to keep our audience engaged.

What are the parameters to calculate ROI on your IPL marketing initiatives? Do you think it will be difficult to recover the investment amidst the pandemic crisis?

Through independent research of previous years, we are confident the ROI is persuasive enough to continue with this association. Also, I strongly feel that nation is going through a tough phase (individually and collectively) and in midst of this wherein people are in lockdown or are coming out of lockdown, IPL will act as a balm to soothe their frayed nerves to some extent – so, overall, we believe IPL will be a bigger hit this year than its previous editions.

Also Read: #SSIPLWatch Muthoot Group’s Abhinav Iyer on IPL marketing strategy

How will you be leveraging IPL to bounce back from the pandemic induced business lull & changing consumer habits created by the lockdown?

To celebrate the festive spirit we are currently working on multiple activations and offers to engage our customers as well as trade partners. This will be a substantial opportunity to leverage our offerings when we see consumption in revival mode.

Pre corona v/s post corona: has IPL marketing or sports marketing in general changed dramatically?

The pandemic has completely reshaped everything that this year was going to be about. As marketers, we have completely switched to virtual platforms for ease in communication.

We believe that new-age content and channels, diversifying investment, partnership opportunities, and adopting immersive and virtual technologies will take up a major role in the post-covid-19 era. 


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