Chess News

The PR Effect of the Mtel Masters amounts to 3 Million euros

Zhivko Ginchev, PR manager

by Lili Cholakova, Dnevnik daily

The PR Effect of the having the international tournament “Mtel Masters”, which is going to take place from May 10th until May 20th in Sofia, is valued to be about 3 million euros, reported Jivko Ginchev, the PR manager of the tournament. “This money is not real; rather it is the amount of value of the advertising, related to the competition. This shows, that the sponsors get in return much more than they invest. The number of internet publications about the chess event in Sofia is enough, so that if printed, it would cover a length of 100km. On a world scale, the total print of media following the tournament reaches 15.4mil copies.”

This year’s event will be broadcasted by three foreign TV companies – two Indian and one Russian. The audience of the Indian “Durdashan” amounts to 233milion viewers, and of the Russian “NTV Plus Sport”, which also emits in other countries, such as the USA, Israel and the former Soviet republics, has more than 1.2 million. In Bulgaria, the broadcasting rights for the tournament are bought by the Bulgarian National Television. Apart from following it on the television, the fans of chess can monitor the games live on the web page of the tournament, which has about a hundred thousand visits per day. They will also have live commentary by at least one GM on chessdom.com.

The chess tournament “Mtel Masters” traditionally gathers six of the best chess players in the world. “I am happy that only for three years the tournament gained authority and is attracting lots of attention. “Mtel Masters” is now one of the big chess events together with the tournament in the Netherlands, which has a 70-year long history, and the Linares championship, more than an quarter of a century old,” stated the director of the tournament Silvio Danailov. In his opinion, it is a matter of time for bigger world renowned companies to express their desire to advertise through the competition in Sofia. “Currently, the interest of the lead sponsors is headed towards the “Grand Slam” in chess, which will start next year. The big companies wanted to know whether “Mtel Masters” will settle as a traditional event, so it is a matter of time until they will express interest in advertising through the competition,” implies Danailov.

Main sponsors of the third edition of the tournament are the mobile operator “Mtel”, the insurance company “Bulstrad” and the organization “Ekobulpak”. “At the moment we are leading negotiations with two more banks, but the time for finalizing an eventual contract is too short,” confesses Danailov.

Meanwhile the chairman of the Bulgarian National Agency of Youth and Sports, Vesela Lecheva, met yesterday with Veselin Topalov and Silvio Danailov to obtain detailed information about the organization of the fore coming event. Danailov and Topalov thanked her for the help and support, which the Agency showed for the Bulgarian Chess Federation in the attempts to organize a rematch between Kramnik and Topalov for the world title. Today the Bulgarian will play a demonstration game blindfolded against the last-years winner of the internet campaign “Play Like Topalov”, Alex Brunetti from Italy. Each one of them will have half an hour time for the game. Last year Topalov played a similar match blindfolded against Judith Polgar, which he won 3.5:2.5 points. Tomorrow is the official opening of the third “Mtel Masters”, and the games are starting on Thursday.

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