Brands like M&M and Future Group bet on Pro Kabbadi League for rural push

11 Aug,2014

By Shambhavi Anand


The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), the ongoing Indian Premier League-style kabaddi tournament that has given a glamorous makeover to the rustic Indian game played mostly in the hinterland, has also given brands an opportunity to bond with India’s rural masses.


Several companies, including leading utility vehicle maker M&M and Future Group, are piggybacking on a newly launched professional kabaddi league to connect with the semi-urban and rural folks and to market their products in villages, home to 70% of India’s population.


Ankit Patidar, VP marketing at Shakti Pumps, said its association with the league has helped the firm enhance its brand recognition in the rural areas. Shakti Pumps is sponsoring the Jaipur Pink Panther team in the Pro Kabaddi League.


“We hold regular chaupals and melas in rural areas to keep in touch with our customers. In some of the recent chaupals, we have had our customers coming and discussing the game with our local distribution team,” Patidar said.


Future Group, which owns the franchisee of the Bengal team in the PKL, has started a talent hunt programme by organising kabaddi matches outside some of the Big Bazaar outlets in West Bengal. The move instantly struck a chord with the locals as seen in the massive turnout at each location.


Sandip Tarkas, president customer strategy, at Future Group and CEO of Bengal Warriors, said, “The investment has turned out so well from a business point of view that we are hoping to break even in just three years. The tournament has struck a chord with rural as well as urban audience.” He said the game is popular among women also.


Source:The Economic Times

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