License to sport

In the recent years, sports licensing has come across as a great business boom to the Indian retailers. Gone are those days where fans looked at foreign sports merchandise and wished for Indian ones. Utkarsh Singh, Head- Business Development for Rajasthan
Utkarsh Singh, Head- Business Development, Rajasthan Royals

In the recent years, sports licensing has come across as a great business boom to the Indian retailers. Gone are those days where fans looked at foreign sports merchandise and wished for Indian ones. Utkarsh Singh, Head- Business Development for Rajasthan Royals IPL team lets us know more about the aspects and approaches to sports licensing in India. 
 
Aparna Sharon Isa Dass (ASID): How important do you think Brand Licensing is to an Indian retailer?
Utkarsh Singh (US):
Well, I believe it is as important as any other facet of marketing that a brand wants to consider. Depending on the nature and character of a brand and the category in which the brand wants to operate, a brand licensing practice seems to be more sensible to the retailer in order to make a strong base for himself and his product. It is an imperative aspect which is undoubtedly important for both- a licensor and licensee..  

ASID: What all sports merchandise do you intend to launch for Rajasthan Royals?
US:
We are considering the entire gamut of possibilities and are just not restricted to three to five categories. We have considered licensing in animation, gaming, movies, music, clothing, accessories and other innovative licensing. Our ability to extend our hand forward into brand licensing totally depends on the market demands and the demand of the target audience. 

ASID: What are the aspects put forth for a retailer who might be interested in Brand Licensing?
US:
Basically, we are playing an evangelical role for the retailers. We are investing and creating an infrastructure for licensees and intent to provide a certain level of maturity in terms of relationship, standardisation, protection, of legal issues and financial aspects.  
 
ASID: Do you feel your name could be at a risk while Brand Licensing?
US:
One has to be careful about the brand extensions or the product extensions one might get into. However, this is not the case with IPL. We are clear that we would collaborate only with a well known retailer or brand house with great history, experience, and potential matching up to the IPL’s high standard. No matter how much revenue or projections an unknown entity might promise the chances are less for us to get associated with them since our name is attached to the merchandise to be produced. 

ASID: Is it essential for every retailer or brand name to step into the Brand Licensing band wagon?
US:
It is absolutely the fact that the brands are increasingly talking to the customers through the products they manufacture. Every product has a buyer’s perspective attached to it. Licensing increases flavour to the success of both- the licensor’s name and the licensee’s revenue, and the bond it creates with the customers. 

ASID: Do you believe that the licensed merchandise would click the Indian masses?
US:
According to me, the life span of the manufactured product depends on two aspects- first, what product it is and second, the price of it. If both are right, it’s the recipe to sure shot success. While in cases it just might not be so Take the example of IPL itself, it was a new concept and initially everyone was sceptical however, it has clicked amazingly well. So in short, the mix has to be right, be it the audience or timing. The existence of sports licensing in India would not be short lived.
 

Utkarsh Singh, Head- Business Development, Rajasthan Royals
 
 
 
 
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