PokerStars is the biggest online poker website in the world and has a reputation for dominating every market it enters. India is one of those market exceptions as PokerStars India has had to battle with existing competition such as which is currently the number one poker website in India.
PokerStars India has focused on its marketing and advertising campaigns in the last 12 months to reach a bigger audience and get more Indian players to sign-up at the site. The latest move by PokerStars is to partner with the TV Channel COLORS which airs the popular Bigg Boss reality TV show.
Bigg Boss Reality TV Partnership                 
Bigg Boss is a local spin-off reality show that is based on the UK’s Big Brother reality show. Salman Khan, a Bollywood superstar plays host to Bigg Boss which brings in a number of celebrities and social media stars to live in one big house which has more than 100 cameras documenting their every move night and day.
The contestants are given a series of tasks and the Indian public get to vote and decide which housemate gets voted out each week. The individual who is left in the house at the end is announced as the winner. This reality show has a massive fan following especially among the younger generation who like the drama, the insults, romance and backbiting that generally takes place in each Bigg Boss episode.
The 13th edition of Bigg Boss kicked-off on September 29 and has once again received positive feedback from the Indian audience. Top brands look to capitalize on this hit reality TV show and advertise their products as they know millions of viewers are watching. Some of the sponsors of Bigg Boss include title sponsor Vivo which is a Chinese smartphone brand and special partner Pepsico’s Lay.
PokerStars India has now signed up as an associate sponsor for the 13th Season and will offer special ‘Bigg Boss Poker Challenges’ where Bigg Boss will give players different tasks that they need to finish to get special rewards. There are also freeroll tournaments that will give players the chance to win themed prizes which include visiting the Bigg Boss House and getting a chance to meet host and Bollywood star Salman Khan.
Poker In India Suffering Due To Lack Of Marketing
PokerStars India and their domestic partner Sachiko Gaming believe that this strategic partnership with Bigg Boss will do wonders not just for their brand but for the game of poker in general.
Sachiko Gaming CEO Ankur Dewani compared what happens in the Bigg Boss house to the game of poker. In the house, contestants have to learn how to keep their emotions in check, how to make calculated decisions, develop their levels of patience and increase mental endurance levels in order to survive and make it through each week. Dewani pointed out that all of these traits are essential to being a successful poker player and contestants can learn a a lot by using poker strategies to get an edge over their fellow competitors.
PokerStars India has focused heavily in the last 12 months on marketing and advertising as they believe that poker in India is suffering due to a lack of exposure. The daily fantasy sports market in India is growing at a rapid pace and is estimated to have close to 70 million players while the game of Rummy is estimated to have around 15million players.
Poker on the other hand has less than 2 million players and an estimated market value of just 500 crore rupees. PokerStars India believes that the best way to grow the online poker market in India is to reach out to a wider demographic of players and get them interested in the game. Market analysts state that players who can afford mid to high stake poker games live in metro cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune.
PokerStars India is keen on getting these players on board but is also looking at the big picture and that is targeting smaller cities across the country even though players in these parts don’t have deep pockets. This is because PokerStars India is now looking at scaling and capturing a bigger section of the market and the Bigg Boss partnership is one way of achieving this goal.