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Music Inc. 2019: Feeding The Superfan Appetite

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Moderator, Ravi Krishnan – Stepathlon Lifestyle Pvt Ltd., Lydia Buthello, EVP Brand Experience and Events, Star India, Jiggy George, Founder, Dream Theatre, Indranil Blah, CEO, Mumbai City FC, Vivek Nayer, CMO, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mohit Joshi, MD, Havas Media Group. An experienced panel discussed ‘Feeding the Superfan Appetite- Sports X Music

Opening the discussion on leveraging music for sport the Moderator, Ravi Krishnan, directed the first question to the Vivek Nayar, CMO, M&M. Ravi asked him about how the company uses music to drive performance and also commercial viability for their properties. Referring to Mahindra’s Intl motorsport formula E, Mr Nayar said, “In order to continue fan engagement in between races we picked on music and used it to create content to put on social media to engage with fans. We got Formula E drivers to dance to Bollywood Bhangra beat. The video took a life of its own. That’s one example of how we’ve used music to engage fans.”

Speaking of fan engagement ‘as the holy grail of sport’, Ravi asked Indranil Blah, Mumbai City FC to elaborate further, “We realized that Mumbai is not a football-centric city. So how to bridge that gap with the fans and get them to associate with the team? We came up with an anthem which was composed by Pritam. Sports and music create an emotional connection with fans. It’s worked well for us.”

While Bollywood music has been leveraged by sports to engage with fans, Ravi asked Mohit Joshi, MD, Havas Media group on leveraging independent music as well. “Music and sports go very well. But in India music is significantly underleveraged. We are barely 1% of the entertainment industry and of that 80% is Bollywood. There is a dominance of Bollywood, therefore, independent music is not coming up.”

On the question of whether Indian artists could be seen on a global event, Lydia Buthello, EVP Brand Experience and Events said, “That’s not too far away. Opening ceremonies were not that big in India either until IPL started doing it. But Bollywood would come up more since that is what the masses would like to see than niche bands performing per se. It depends where you hold your events and what your audiences are looking for. There is huge scope for artists on a global event.“

Sports merchandise is a huge part of the industry even from a fan engagement point of view. Speaking on the importance of music during non-sporting times to drive merchandise, Jiggy George, Founder, Dream Theatre, replied, “Music would play an important role. Our brand, Prowl, is a good example of where we intersected music in its promotion. Created an anthem with it. How that links to the merchandise is that the number of people that went On the Instagram page or pre-purchase exponentially grew. So, there is a big link between them.”

The panel had a general consensus on how independent artists needed to be integrated with sports and how user-generated content too could play a role in the future.

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