From limited edition luxury watch to racing car prototypes, circuit racing lovers can take their pick of racing memorabilia.

Despite a tepid response to Indian Grand Prix merchandise last year, brands are going all-out to woo consumers as they say it is not as much about revenue but about engaging with the audience.

This year, most brands say that the initial response is good despite the price point being high. The Indian avatar of the F1 racing which enters its second season in India starts on October 26-28 at Buddh International Circuit.

upbeat

Rajiv Mehta, Managing Director, Puma India, said, “The response last season was very positive and that continues this year. We want people to build loyalty with the Indian GP. We have introduced more touch-points to reach out to the motorsport fan and the association gives us the edge we are looking for in terms of marketing and branding.

Besides selling online and ramping presence at the circuit, Puma has introduced Advocate Loyalty Program. The brand has association with a strong existing motorsport range with Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW, Ducati and MINI among others.

E-commerce players not to be left behind in jamboree note that Indian Grand Prix doesn’t show a massive spurt in revenues but helps in putting their brands in limelight.

“Retail is a part of the whole experience and merchandise helps in bringing the flavour of the sports. We have been receiving positive response to our collection which includes prototypes of cars, gaming CDs, T-shirts and caps among others,” said Sandeep Komaravelly, Vice-President Marketing, Snapdeal.com.

Sher Singh, a sports lifestyle platform, has launched a special F1 collection ‘The Race Day Collection’. Rahul Batra, Men’s Brand Director, Shersingh.com, says that despite the seasonality of the business, sports lifestyle business is showing an upswing.

“Our enquires are robust,” he notes.

Sports experts point that for companies, it is not just about revenue but the engagement that helps them monetise the event. They say that fans shops online for multichannel shopping experience.

Global revenues

According to PwC report on sports lifestyle business, global revenues from merchandising will total $20.1 billion in 2015 from $17.6 billion in 2010, a 2.6 per cent compound annual increase.

The merchandise are priced between Rs 300 and over Rs 2 lakh.

Luxury watchmaker TAG Heuer has introduced a limited edition India Racing Limited Edition 2012. This 250 pieces numbered limited edition has been adorned with the logo of ‘Mastering Speed for 150 Years’. Sports major Puma, an official licensing partner for Ferrari and the supplier of team and race wear for Scuderia Ferrari, too has come up with a line of apparel, footwear and accessories.

(This article was published on October 25, 2012)
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