The Kings' cloth: CSK to cash in on fan outfits

Chennai | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on February 01, 2012

The yellow sea: File picture of fans cheering the Chennai Super Kings team at the MAC Stadium in Chennai. — V. Ganesan   -  The Hindu

Hopes to sell inexpensive jerseys priced at Rs 200 in B and C markets

If India Cements, the owner of last year's IPL trophy holders Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has its way, the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium could be a sea of yellow T-shirts on April 4 when the first match of IPL 5 kicks off.

The company is going to unleash jerseys and other fan gear at very affordable price points as well as widen regional distribution. By doing so, it hopes to step up revenues from the merchandise business.

Last year, CSK earned around Rs 1 crore from merchandise sales — minuscule compared to overall sponsorship revenues. “There is a real scope to increase merchandise revenues considerably,” says Mr Rakesh Singh, Joint President, Marketing, India Cements. According to estimates, 67 per cent of the revenue of global sports teams comes from merchandise sales.

Mr Singh says the lower priced products will not only help beef up revenues, but also help combat the fakes flooding the market. “Till now, we were banking too much on Reebok and Peter England — with shirts starting at Rs 600 and prices going up to Rs 2,000 for the replica team jersey. So, we found fakes operating at the bottom of the pyramid for Rs 125-150.”

Now, the company will launch jerseys for Rs 200. These will be primarily sold around the stadium and in B and C markets.

The team is also in talks with distributors across Tamil Nadu to build a wide distribution network.

“We don't want to be limited to high-end shops. Even small stores should sell our merchandise,” says Mr Singh.

CSK is looking at setting up an exclusive store at the Chennai airport. It is also in advanced talks with Café Coffee Day to set up ‘CSK zones' in major cities.

Fashion brand

There is potential to develop the CSK range as a fashion brand, says Mr Singh. “We need not look only at yellow, the team colour. We will also offer polo tees and evening wear bearing the CSK logo in many colours… like it is with the Wimbledon range.”

The team is also keen to widen its product portfolio beyond apparel.

“We will expand our current range of mugs, napkins, caps and friendship bands. We will also look at ties and cufflinks as they can be good gift ideas.”


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Published on February 01, 2012
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