The FIFA frenzy in India

E-commerce sites and TV makers cashing in on the FIFA fever

Business & Politics

July 2, 2018

/ By / Kolkata

The FIFA is making businesses run into profit

The FIFA is making businesses run into profit

The FIFA is making businesses run into profit as the sales of merchandise and other football gears are continuously rising. TV makers are also luring clients by launching new television models and coming up with new financial schemes.

The ongoing FIFA frenzy has the attention of fans from all over the world. The situation is no different in India. The country that bleeds blue throughout the year is bleeding red, yellow, green and white because of the FIFA fever, as fans cheer for their favourite team donning the respective team jerseys.

Not just the sale in team jerseys has increased, but football and other gears associated with the sport have also seen a strong growth on various e-commerce platforms in India over the last few weeks. Argentina, Germany, Portugal and Brazil are emerging as the top favourites and customers are keen on getting their hands on jerseys of football stars like Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Neymar Jr (Brazil).

“We have witnessed a sharp spike in footballs, jerseys, shorts and tracks. The football World Cup is a big revenue driver for the Sports Business with Football contribution to business increasing by 40 pc over April-June,” Myntra VP and Head (Sports, Footwear and Accessories) Puspen Maity told PTI.

ShopClues said its platform has seen an average sale of around 4,000 footballs per day for the last 16 days. “Other merchandise like jerseys etc has also seen a spike. We are selling about 300-350 fan jerseys every day,” the spokesperson said.

Snapdeal said that there has been a big jump in demand for football-related merchandise on their platform from Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Kolkata and the north-eastern markets. The company has also seen a spike in the sales of bean bags, recliners and home theatre systems, indicating that viewers are looking at cheering for their favourite team from the comforts of their homes.

Amazon has seen similar trends with shoppers looking for not just jerseys but also training equipments, shin guards, nets, collectibles like bobbleheads and even referees’ whistles. The company has also trained its Alexa-powered ‘Echo’ smart speakers to not only offer match updates but also provide interesting tidbits.

Online and offline markets both have seen a spike in the sales.  Sportswear brand Puma India said it has witnessed 37 pc increase in sales over last month in football merchandise. Adidas has also claimed a significant increase in the sales of football merchandise. The most popular jerseys being sold by Adidas are those of Germany, Argentina and Spain.

Alcis Sports, an Indian performance wear brand, which has been selling official FIFA merchandise through large format stores such as Shoppers Stop and e-tailer Flipkart, said that it has seen a 50 pc spike in the sales of football merchandise.

Television sales go up

TV makers in India like Sony, LG, Samsung, Micromax and Intex are witnessing a spike in sales. TV makers have launched new large screen size models and have also come up with new financial schemes to lure the customers. With the football fever fans are buying new television sets or upgrading to large screens to have a better feel of live matches.

“There is an impressive sales growth in Kerala, Goa, West Bengal and other metro markets like Delhi-NCR, Bangalore and Mumbai. In certain markets, sales have doubled over last year,” said Rishi Tandon, LG Electronics India Business Head-Flat Panel TV.

Micromax co-founder Rajesh Agarwal said, “As compared to last year, we have seen a 15 pc increase in the television sales during the past two months. With the FIFA World Cup 2018 having kicked off, we expect sales to increase by 25 pc by end of June.”

High sale in food and beverages

With the end of IPL and start of FIFA, the food and beverage companies are running at profit. Cafes, restaurants and bars are coming up with different schemes to attract the young sports enthusiasts who follow sports diligently. Restaurants in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai have come up with curated Russian menu and vodka-based food pairings, since the host country this year is Russia.

The fondness for football fever has pushed up footfall in Kolkata’s pubs and bars by 15 pc and it could rise to 20 pc more than the usual number by the time the quarter-final matches start, according to restaurateurs. The consumption of beer has galloped even faster, with the Hotel and Restaurants’ Association of India (HRAEI) saying beer sales have gone up by 30 pc during the evening matches.

Jubilant Foodworks Ltd., which operates the local franchise of Domino’s Pizza Inc. and Kingfisher beer owner United Breweries Ltd., has gained 19 pc since April to a record, extending a rally that’s tripled the company’s market value over the past year. The stock is rated a buy by 70 pc of the 32 analysts tracking it, data compiled by Bloomberg show.



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