4/8/2009 11:04:00 AM
Lebara signs cricket sponsorship deal with Setanta
Lebara Mobile has signed a deal with the sports TV broadcaster, Setanta.
It will be the exclusive sponsor of the channels highly anticipated coverage of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts next Saturday (18 April).
The deal is the first move into sponsorship by Lebara after two months of negotiations with Setanta.
The IPL cricket competition is in its second year, and has already attracted a huge global following from South Asians – a core segment of the virtual network’s market.
India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are among the most popular countries for Lebara, and the company is looking to strengthen its foothold in that area of the market, under growing competition from rivals Lyca and Nomi.
The IPL competition will be hosted in South Africa this year due to the Indian elections taking place at the same time.
Lebara has further plans to sponsor exclusive TV coverage of cricket tournaments, and is believed to be contemplating the Twenty20 competiton, which starts in June.
Marketing chief Jon Fawcett said: ‘The IPL has tremendous connections with the South Asian network. This was an opportunity to show that we are part of that community.’
The virtual network began outdoor marketing with billboards in areas of ethnic minorities in October 2008, and then moved into London underground stations and train carriages.
Lebara has since increased its presence in specialist ethnic media and placed adverts on the barriers at underground stations with a particularly high South Asian concentration, including Aldgate East, West Ham and East Ham, which are ‘close to permanent positions’, according to Fawcett.
Amid the land-grab for customers, Lebara and Lyca have placed their logos on the fronts and awnings of well-positioned independent general stores, in areas that are popular with ethnic minorities. Lebara has called the move its ‘branded stores programme’.