The management of Chennai Super Kings, which has now emerged a popular sports brand, said they are widening their merchandise beyond apparels for revenue growth and better engagement with CSK fans.

“All these times, our merchandise has been about apparels. Now, we have gone into gifting materials that CSK fans could use round the year. So, we are getting into personalised sector and Sonata, a big brand from Titan, has joined us. Sonata has come out with an exclusive range of watches for kids, youth and for formal wear,” R Sankaran Unni, Head – Marketing, Chennai Super Kings, a franchise of the Indian Premium League (IPL), told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a meeting here.

Apart from apparels, categories such as watches, back to school, accessories, children toys and board games have been added keeping in mind that CSK fans cut across all age groups and gender.

He said that fans of CSK would like to use the brand’s merchandise throughout the year unlike in the past when CSK T-shirts were used for a limited period or season. Thus, stay-connected appears to be the theme now. “Our market research has found some crazy ideas of CSK fans. We have seen people printing wedding cards like CSK match tickets,” he added.

12 brands signed

Unni explained that the management of CSK, owned by Indian Cements, would look to build the licensing business to global standards on line with any other sports brand like EPL (English Premier League) & NBA (National Basketball Association). “We have made the first step by signing with 12 brands as official merchandise partner for this season who has been jointly selected by us and our licensing agency partners – Baseline, “ he said.

“We have given exclusivity to the brands and we don’t have multiple brands coming and competing in the same category. Exclusivity will give us a win-win deal,” he added.

E-commerce platform

The company also developed an in-house e-commerce platform where CSK’s merchandise could be bought round the year.

To a question on revenue, he said the management would be in a position to share the details after the tournament.