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Aircel Chennai Open focuses on digital medium

Digital media is a great platform for diverse outreach and has brought about a transition in the way information is collected or received across the globe, says Ashu Jindal, COO, IMG Reliance

Shachi Tapiawala | Mumbai | December 26, 2012

Apart from promising enthusiasts of the hottest tennis action and a fantastic line-up of some of the top players in the world, the 18th edition of the Aircel Chennai Open is promoting the tournament digitally. Organised by IMG Reliance, the tournament is scheduled to take place at Chennia’s SDAT Tennis Stadium from December 31, 2012 to January 6, 2013.

The property will organise an online live streaming with a leading online channel giving online users live access to the premier tennis event. The property will organise interactive, contest-based promotions and player trivia to ensure an opportunity for fans to win merchandise and meet their favourite players.

Ashu Jindal

Commenting on promoting the tournament more through the digital medium, Ashu Jindal, COO, IMG Reliance, said, “In many ways, the Aircel Chennai Open has been successful, thanks to a combination of our global and local strengths. Digital media being a great platform for diverse outreach, has brought about a transition in the way information is collected or received across the globe. It is said that a majority of sports fans are now engaging with their favourite sports on a minimum of two screens. More often than not, at least one of those screens, if not both, are digital (computer/mobile).”

Jindal added, “Aircel Chennai Open is relying on the digital and social media platforms to send out all its messages. Through YouTube live streaming, mobile apps, Facebook and Twitter, we are ensuring that tennis fanatics can keep up with all the exciting tennis action surrounding Aircel Chennai Open.”

A large number of international players participate in the event, which has resulted in a worldwide fan following. Hence, the digital platform is the best medium to reach out fans regardless of their location, according to IMG Reliance. This medium would also provide advertisers and sponsors new avenues to reach out to their customers hence is becomes an important tool of their communication plan.

Jindal elaborated, “One of our main focus areas this season is fan engagement and improving the fan experience. Using a digital medium allow us to reach more fans while allowing them to customise their ACO experience. The depth of information that a fan can access through these digital initiatives such as the mobile app or through interacting with players on a platform such as Twitter is now standard at world class events. For the first time in the event’s history, they can experience the tournament in the stands, at home or on the go and always feel they are part of the action.”

Additionally, a mobile app, in partnership with Hakuna Matata, will launch a ACO mobile application to enable fans to access live stream of the matches, scores, draws, schedule, player list, event guide and the latest news of the event. Nandha Kumar Sundararaj of Hakuna Matata Solutions said, “As one of India’s leading mobile consulting and development firms, we have been building successful mobile products across sectors for clients in India and abroad. It has been a pleasure to take a sporting event like the Aircel Chennai Open 2013 mobile. Indian tennis fans will now get an exciting opportunity to follow all the action and carry the experience wherever they go.”

Jindal added, “With the launch this mobile application, this year’s Aircel Chennai Open is taking a leading position in the digital space. This, along with a number of additional digital initiatives, highlights our focus on improving the fan experience and engagement. For the first time in the tournament’s history fans around the world will have details of the activities at the Aircel Chennai Open at their fingertips. We are certain the fans will benefit immensely.”

Shedding some light on digital being the next big thing after television, Jindal told BestMediaInfo that the digital space is no longer a trend for the future. “It is already here and it is all around us. Right from our computers to the handled devices most of us carry today, everyone is connected at all times and the want for information has reached unprecedented levels. Digital is a brilliant enabler, both from an organiser’s and a marketer’s point of view. It not only allows us to provide our audience an enhanced experience, it also enables us to provide customised and targeted content to them without intruding or invading their privacy. However, in India, the penetration of digital still has a long way to go and is still higher in metros and among SEC AB,” Jindal explained.

“From a television point of view, we see digital as a supplement to the medium rather than a replacement. For the first time in the tournament history, we have launched a mobile app, which among many other things will allow subscribers to view match highlights while on the move, thus acting as a stand-in option for television without completely making it redundant,” he added.

Aircel Chennai Open has brought on board more than 20 sponsors including TNTA, Government of Tamil Nadu, Murugappa Group, Indian Bank, United India Insurance, FedEx, Ricoh, Vijay Shathi Builders, Rajalakshmi Institutions, Bols and The Hindu to name a few. Ten Sports is the official broadcast partner.

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