The Indian Premier League (IPL) fever is on and cashing in on the cricket mania are sportswear brands with their special merchandise - jerseys, shoes, caps, bags, key chains etc.
The sports merchandise has caught the fancy of cricket fans in the second season of the IPL and invited encouraging response despite being held far away in South Africa, say company owners.
Sportswear brands like Reebok, Adidas and Puma, apart from 24-hour home shopping channel HomeShop18, convenience store Twenty Four Seven and online trading community eBay India are selling team specific merchandise to cash in on the cricket frenzy in the country.
While some are foreseeing good profits, others are just beginning to set their cash registers ringing.
"We had created IPL merchandise for the first edition of IPL as well. The response is very encouraging from people this time too. People are buying their favourite team colours to show their support for their teams," a representative from Reebok told IANS.
Though Twenty Four Seven has received a good response to its affordable range (Rs 15 to Rs 400) of jerseys, shirts, caps and other items such as key chains, tattoos, bottle chillers, car flags and wrist bands, the company's president says the sales might have been better had the IPL been held in India instead of South Africa.
"Although the response is heartening, we believe that if the IPL had been held in India, the response would have been better as a lot of fans prefer the merchandise for cheering their teams at the venue of the match," said Modi.
However, for companies like Reebok and HomeShop18, which have entered a tie-up to sell merchandise for four teams - Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings XI, Chennai Super Kings and Bangalore Royal Challengers, the change in venue has meant more business.
"The change in venue has opened up a new opportunity for us in terms of online sales. We are now selling IPL merchandise through ebay.com and shop4reebok.com," said the representative from Reebok, which has launched a campaign "With Me? Show Me...Wear Your Passion", urging fans to support their favourite team by adorning the team colours and be a part of the team.
HomeShop18 has introduced a special show "Reebok 20:20 Cricket Mania" - dedicated to market and sell Reebok merchandise for IPL at subsidised rates.
"We have exclusive offers on Reebok jerseys, caps and bags, plus an amazing combo of the three available at Rs1,999 which is 26 per cent less than the MRP of Rs 2,697 and we are expecting a great response," HomeShop18 CEO Sundeep Malhotra said.
ebay India too has tied up with Bollywood actress Preity Zinta's Kings XI Punjab team to sell its merchandise including products like car flags, fan caps, cheering sticks, optical caps, expandable banners, mugs, badges and collectibles that allow fans to decorate their desks, homes and even cars to show their fan spirit.
While no definite sales figures of the IPL merchandise have been quantified by any company, they have admitted the sales have been encouraging.