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Amidst the marketing blitz surrounding World Cup campaigns, influencer marketing is stealthily transforming into the ultimate tool for countless brands and sports entities. Yet, the high-wire act of harmonising the creators' craft with cricket's sacred spirit is a non-negotiable tightrope walk.

Brands must tread this fine line with caution, ensuring they don't bowl consumers over with a wide or no-ball – maintaining the game's integrity should be the masterstroke on their strategy pitch.

Striking a balance between accommodating content creators and preserving the authenticity of the sport is quite a tightrope walk, emphasised Ankit Grover, Lead Integration Director, Wondrlab Network.

Ankit Grover

“It means setting guidelines and keeping an eye on the content to ensure it stays true to the values of the sport. At the same time, it’s equally important to be open and transparent with the fans,” commented Grover.

Ritesh Nath

Ritesh Nath, Head of Sports, Collective Artists Network, seconded, “Brands and sports organisations must ensure that the content aligns with their values and guidelines while allowing creators creative freedom.”

Grover suggested that partnership is the key here, “It lets creators have some room for their creativity while still making sure the sport’s authenticity and integrity stay intact.”

“Transparency, collaboration, and regular communication are key to maintaining this delicate balance,” added Nath.

Samarjit Singh

Along with establishing clear guidelines and aligning with creators that match the brand’s value, Samarjit Singh, COO, Mad Influence, suggested that brands must ensure to implement a content approval process that allows sports organisations and brands to review and approve content before it goes live to ensure that the content aligns with their messaging and values.

Rubeena Singh

While the approval process is important, Rubeena Singh, Country Manager India and MENA, AnyMind Group, suggested the need for a feedback mechanism. She said, “A continuous feedback mechanism is also instrumental in ensuring that the content remains genuine and in tune with the sport's essence

Samarjit continued, “Another way to foster trust in the audience is by disclosing the nature of the collaboration between the content creator and the sports organisation or brand.”

He also said that the brands/organisers can also provide content creators with information about the sport's history, culture, values, continuously monitor content, and provide constructive feedback to creators.

By working together and fostering a collaborative environment, the sports industry can find harmony between content creators and sports authenticity, creating a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

Samarjit concluded, “Striking the right balance between content creators and sports integrity requires careful planning, communication, and mutual respect. If executed thoughtfully, these partnerships can enhance fan engagement and provide authentic, valuable content without compromising the sport's authenticity and integrity.”