iconimg Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Himani Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 14, 2013
A million fans may well translate into a million customers. Taking a cue from sporting clubs of the West, domestic T20 franchises are wooing fans with an array of merchandise products and services - official jerseys, accessories , members' clubs - to cash in on their potential customer base.

The aim is to bag revenues from lucrative merchandise segments similar in a way followed aggressively by football clubs such as Manchester United and Chelsea.

"They are trying to cater for all their fans' needs," said Prahlad Kakkar, advertising and brand expert. "Kolkata launched merchandises since its inception and today it is one of the league's few profitable teams."

While Rajasthan Royals has teamed up with an international travel agency to attract cricket-loving foreign visitors, Kolkata and Chennai have launched fee-paying members' clubs that offer exclusive merchandise.

Lifestyle outfits and accessories from Royal Challengers Bangalore and team-branded jerseys from Delhi Daredevils, besides a magazine on players and statistics from Mumbai Indians are other examples.

"These initiatives will definitely contribute more than 5% to the team's total revenues," said Chandrabhan, general manager, marketing, India Cements that owns Chennai Super Kings.

"We aim to take the concept of licensing and merchandising to a new level," said Raghu Iyer, CEO, of Rajasthan Royals, which recently tied up with Indiehaat Ventures to sell Rajasthani handicraft.