Pepsi returns with ICC World Cup

Friday, 24 December 2010 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By kinita shenoy

Pepsi, the global cola brand unveiled its revamped marketing strategy in Sri Lanka for the ICC World Cup 2011 at a recently held launch. The aggressive new strategy incorporates multi-media through print, TV, extensive advertising and interactive methods to engage youth and bring alive the spirit of new age cricket.

Sri Lanka's fast bowler Lasith Malinga (L) and Tillakaratne Dilshan pose with the 2011 Cricket World Cup Trophy during a media conference in Colombo December 22, 2010. Sri Lanka is one of the three co-hosts for the 2011 Cricket World Cup and will hold the 12 matches in three venues. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

In reference to what the new campaign hoped to achieve, the Country Manager for PepsiCo Sri Lanka, Kunal Sharma said “Pepsi is a youthful effervescent brand that will continue to support millions of fans to connect with the game they are passionate about, whilst depicting the unconventional brilliance it is famous for”.

Pepsi is currently in franchise partnership with Varun Beverages, which is sponsored by the Indian investor North East Pure Drinks. Sharma went on to explain Pepsi’s dedication towards their relationship with the Sri Lankan market and consumers, and to continuing their long term association with both local people and the game of cricket. The main focus of the new campaign is on the World Cup and on its fans, which Pepsi believes can contribute to a growing market.

Sharma said that the company sees the World Cup as a huge opportunity, and that they have many exciting plans ahead for the New Year. The ‘360 degree campaign’ also includes two new additions to the brand name.

The Sri Lanka Cricket Team members, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Lasith Malinga are now brand ambassadors, a move that was strategically made in keeping with the Pepsi brand image. The unveiling of the new brand ambassadors was conducted shortly after the unveiling of the ICC World Cup trophy to the press.

According to Sharma, cricket has transformed from an elitist, ‘text book’ game, to a high-octane, unorthodox method of mass entertainment. He cites this as a reason why Pepsi is supporting the ICC, as their brand image and ambassadors too appeal to the youth as dynamic and energetic players who redesign the game. The two players are also part of Sri Lanka’s revolutionizing of the game since their 1996 World Cup win.

The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, D.S. De Silva said “It is exciting to see the ICC Cricket World Cup return to the sub-continent. With all the changes that have happened to the game, it is gratifying to see brands like Pepsi partnering with the ICC to fuel excitement and bring the game closer to the fans.”