Corporate Interest in Indian Football



  • thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India29598 Points


    Adidas has had a long history of associating with football globally. In a first, the sportswear manufacturer has announced a partnership with an Indian football club, Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC).  Though football is the most popular sport in the world, it still has some catching up to do with cricket and Adidas is definitely leaving no stone unturned in promoting this partnership. In conversation with Pitch, Sean Van Wyk, Senior Marketing Director at adidas India, discussed the marketing strategies and emphasized on building a healthy sport culture in India.


    Adidas has been associated with football since long now. What led to decide on RKFC to be your first association with an Indian Football Club?

    Being a global leader in Football, Adidas is consistently investing and creating a new avenues to inspire the youth through various initiatives and sponsorship as well as developing world class football facilities.

    Looking at RKFC, Adidas has complete faith in the potential of the team. We believe that team can play a significant role in bringing about change in Jammu and Kashmir and bring about positive change in the community.

    What are your expectations with this partnership? Does it help in spreading a word about the brand?

    We see a phenomenal growth of football in India. We have been seeing it in anything from ‘five aside football’ to ‘eleven aside football’. There has been a significant increase in the number of teams playing, football leagues and viewership as well as in-ground spectators.

    People in India definitely love football and football in J&K has also been a key sport for very long time. We also believe that through sport we have a power to change lives and with this partnership we want to show the rest of the country and the world the real Kashmir through the lanes of sports. We want to use football as a proponent to drive the positivity.

    The team was formed only two years ago and they have showed incredible mettle in the last two seasons and also won their respective leagues. They have faced lot of obstacles on their way and they have overcome huge barriers to achieve what they’ve achieved. We just feel that they have such an inspiring stories and we want to go on this journey with them.

    What marketing strategies are you using to promote this partnership, since football in India is still considered at a very nascent stage?

    To market this partnership we’ll be doing a lot of PR events both to market the club and get the club exposure. A lot of marketing activities that we will do will be primarily focused around social and digital mediums and we are also planning to do some on-ground activities.

    In Srinagar, we will do ground activities that include grassroots initiatives. The club itself has a lot of youth development team, so we’ll get involved there. We will also be bringing some of our global football Clubs to Kashmir for the first time.

    How will your marketing effort for football be different from what you do in other markets?

    Definitely the global market or any market that you look at, there will be some distinct differences. But again football is enjoyed throughout the world and there is no difference here in J&K. Traditionally in some of the more mature markets will use our icons such as Lionel Messi and teams such as Manchester United and Real Madrid. We use them predominantly as brand focus in established markets. In India, football is still in the nascent stage and there’s a bigger role for us to play here. The sport has been getting traction and there is a need for us to do lot more ground activities, build the sport, identify the talent and give some of the talented youngsters the opportunity to perform on bigger stages.

    Do we see adidas extending it’s arm in supporting other sports by announcing other such partnerships in India?

    At adidas we see ourselves as the creators of sport brands and we will always be looking for opportunities on the sporting field. This could be an athlete or a team that has same DNA as we do and if we see them as creators or as an inspiration to the sporting youth of our nation, we’ll certainly be looking at opportunities to partner with such athletes and such teams. There’s such an immense talent pool in India and we also come across opportunities such as our association with the athlete Hima Das. We recognize talent and we will support and develop the talent.

    What is your core marketing strategy for brand adidas in India?

    At Adidas we see ourselves at the forefront of innovation, be it our products, interacting with our consumers or applying our marketing tools to engage with consumers.We bring innovative products to the consumer and to the athletes so that they perform to their best potential.

    As a brand we are close to our consumers and go a long way to understand what our consumer expects from the brand and also how they want to be spoken to.We differentiate between age groups and genders and we interact and engage with our consumers specifically. Also as part of the adidas experience, we are focused on the consumer experiencing our products in a beautiful environment and have brought in the format of the sports performance stores. This year we opened a new store with a brand new concept in Select city walk mall, Delhi called the stadium concept.

  • 7negi7negi India10890 Points
    Adidas has been associated with football since long now. What led to decide on RKFC to be your first association with an Indian Football Club?

    Adidas was shirt sponsor for Shillong for 3 years i think and this is the first question of the presser 
  • indianFootballFanindianFootballFan India4496 Points
    Not to forget Pune FC.
  • goalkeepargoalkeepar Turkish occupied Cyprus29225 Points
    Not to forget Dempo SC
  • thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India29598 Points
    edited May 2019
    This is not an article on corporate interest only in Indian football (it is about other sports as well) but I will put it here because it talks about BFC and has some illuminating insights

    The JSW model: Is Jindal group’s steady success in Indian sport a blueprint for other corporates?

    Making money through a sports team in India has never been easy. In fact, most involvement in sport would always incur a loss
  • 7negi7negi India10890 Points

    Anand Mahindra, Vijay Mallya and broken promises of a rebel football league

    Mahindra his grand sports investment plans, and how Mallya reneged on his commitment without warning

  • So Vijay mallaya is a dhokebaaz here also. What a shame. Really feel for Anand Mahindra. Maybe this would have been a turning point way before ISL.
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