Beyond the Cup

GOKUL KRISHNAMURTHY | Updated on May 11, 2011 Published on May 11, 2011

sajid   -  Business Line

Beyond the Cup, the India merchandise continues to do well, with the India flag T-shirt now moved to re-order. The brand is also associated with four IPL teams: Kolkata, Chennai, Punjab and Bangalore. While the brand is doing its bit in terms of promotions around IPL, the highs of the World Cup win are a little too much to expect, admit Reebok officials.

“We sponsor four IPL teams, but the cricket World Cup victory is obviously far bigger, both in terms of significance and in terms of an emotional connect,” concedes Subhinder Singh Prem, MD, adidas India.

He also contends that the brand's 6.5 lakh members on Facebook are proof that Reebok remains relevant and innovative in consumer engagement, consistently. The implication is that the World Cup and IPL are platforms that are not comparable, especially after India's victory, but have to be leveraged seamlessly and symbiotically, building on each property's individual strengths to further the brand's visibility and stickiness.

After the Golden Bats given away to players at a media event come the replicas. The logic is that when a win like this happens, people want a share of it.

“If the World Cup victory was a company, and it could give out shares, everyone would want to buy at least one share. People can associate with the win in many ways. Some people will get that satisfaction by buying the same bat that Dhoni uses. Some would like to buy a T-shirt. Some would want to express themselves on Facebook. Our job is to create a platform where our consumers can come and have a share of this victory,” elaborates Prem.

Substantiating his point, the MD points out that the sale of merchandise in April was better than that in March 2011, when the World Cup was being played. The euphoria peaked after the win, according to Reebok's experience across its 1,000-plus stores.

“The memories of the victory are definitely going to be very special with people. If we are innovative, if we are able to use our cricket stars in a manner that brings back memories, it could be interesting. Keeping the winning moment fresh in memory is the trick,” surmises Prem.

When Reebok signed up Yuvraj Singh, he was a prodigy in the under-19 team. And we don't need the company's spokespeople to tell us that the brand will continue to ride on cricket in India, well beyond the crest of the World Cup wave.

Published on May 11, 2011
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