The brand that was the biggest spender on the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League team sponsorships has zero provision in its marketing budget for an all-new IPL season this year 2018. The brand that was among the top three along with Vivo and Oppo to take cricket route as its aggressive marketing strategy in India, will be absent from the IPL this season. The brand to back two teams last season has no provisions as of now even for in-stadia hoardings, or on-air advertising during the league.
The brand as part of its aggressive strategy around cricket had also signed one of the most expensive celebrity endorsement deals in January last year. Today, the iconic ambassador is also missing from the brand website.
Brand Gionee will not be making any marketing investment on IPL this year unless there is a last-minute shift in its stand.
Gionee, one of the first three Chinese firms to enter Indian smartphone market, has a little budgetary cushion to invest on big-ticket IPL. Gionee has been among the most visible IPL team sponsors ever since it has become the title sponsor of the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2015. Gionee last season had acquired two of the most expensive team kit spots – front jersey of KKR and Royal Challengers, Bangalore. The twin deals had made Gionee the biggest investor on team sponsorships in IPL 2017.
A company source had confirmed to insidesport.co that Gionee has no budgets to invest on the IPL now. “We (the company) have not even discussed IPL this year. There are no budgets and there are no provisions,” the source said. “The company is going through a restructuring process (at the top management level). We don’t see any major financial decisions happening soon.”
The Chinese smartphone manufacturer, with reported marketing budgets of about ₹500 crore last year, had also signed Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador. Today, India’s biggest brand icon is conspicuous by his absence from Gionee’s commercial campaigns and corporate website. Insidesport.co had reported earlier that the Kohli-Gionee deal has run into rough weather.
Also read: Gionee-Virat Kohli heading for a split?
Gionee had also not launched any new products to cash-in on the Diwali season last year. The company has also not launched any major marketing initiatives ever since its power-packed selfiestan campaign with Kohil, Alia Bhatt, Shruti Hassan and Daljit Dosanjh in June 2017.