MUMBAI: Online poker gaming platform Spartan Poker has initiated a marketing campaign to connect to players across India with the #BabajiRaiseTheBarCampaign as it builds up to the second edition of its flagship property - India Online Poker Championship.
By placing a funny Babaji as the face of the India Online Poker Championship at a time when various self-styled Godmen and Babajis were going under the scanner, Spartan Poker managed to intrigue unsuspecting audiences where the fast-growing poker industry is still considered a niche market.
Amin Rozani, co-founder and MD of Spartan Poker remarks, "The #BabajiRaiseTheBar campaign was about disrupting the imagery of poker most Indians hold true and present them with the truth – that poker is a game of skills and strategy by making the whole communication quite unlikely of any poker company in the market. It fitted right in with our previous successful marketing campaigns in recent times, where we have only promoted poker as a skill-enhancing sport."
The drift from the clichéd ‘James Bondesque’ communication into such a uniquely Indian perspective was indeed highly risky. But how did the promotions fare in real time?
Well for starters, this edition of the India Online Poker Championship saw over 16,176 registrants participating in over 54 tournaments in the 10-day tournament series. That’s a huge leap from the last edition held in July 2017, which saw just over 10,500 registrants participating online.
On top of that, the prize pools crossed over Rs 70 million, while the initial promised prize pool was Rs 60 million. The prize pool in the 2017 edition was just over Rs 35 million. With double the amount in payouts this time around in comparison to the last edition, the IOPC has become a flagship online poker event for Spartan.
The tournament also saw 8 players walking away as millionaires and the Leaderboard Challenge winner, Sajal Gupta, walking away with a brand new Jeep Compass SUV, apart from his winnings in pay-outs.
Amin Rozani, Co-founder and MD of The Spartan Poker remarks, “Poker is a sport that involves taking risk. But risks have to be supplemented with informed intuition. The campaign came at the right time and we were ready to bet on it since Spartan Poker believes in breaking stereotypes in order to take this game forward. In the end, it is poker that has triumphed and we are very happy with the way poker is shaping up in India. After all, good things are happening in poker!”
Spartan Poker will be back with the India Online Poker Championship soon and the plans for the next edition are bigger than ever. Meanwhile, various daily tournaments, weekly events and more will continue.