The millions of die-hard cricket fans in India vouch that the concept of loyalty is definitely not over-rated. What is termed as cricket madness by some experts is seen as unwavering devotion to the Indian team by Indians. When an event like the Cricket World Cup begins, what follows is a herd of cricket obsessed fans ready to throw myriad of support to the team. The frenzy means anything associated with cricket gets a higher leverage, opening up massive opportunities for companies and translating into an overall economic development.
Commercialised sport has always been an important growth point of a country's economy. The world of bat and ball means a lot to the market. World Cup 2007 incurred heavy losses after the Indian team made an early exit from the tournament. Not only the official sponsors, but some other sectors too were pushed into red. India's promising start in World Cup 2015 with its victory over arch-rival Pakistan marks for a wonderful time ahead for apparel sector too. It is not just the boys that will be adorning blue, it will be million other fans from around the world sporting the same colour. And, as other cricket playing nations clamour to be on the same page as India, apparel sale says otherwise.
Choice of store
Shopping online has become a norm than an exception today. With immeasurable perks that online websites offer, fans have been flocking to the sites to grab official ICC cricket accessories. Nike, which is the official sponsor of Team India, has collaborated with e-retail giant Myntra to sell World Cup 2015 kit exclusively online. Moreover, it is not only Myntra that is securing good response, other online websites like Amazon that are selling t-shirts with trophy photographs, ICC Cricket World Cup logo, etc in different colours, are also attracting buyers. Official online stores of ICC and ESPN Cricinfo are expecting to earn US $ 10 million through sale in India, Australia and New Zealand. These stores reported that the gold foil print Indian retro t-shirt, worn by Team India in 1992 World Cup, is among the fastest selling item, followed by the caps.
Though, it is more convenient to research and compare prices of online cricket apparel, this has not affected footfall in brick and mortar stores. Sale in brick and mortar stores is also attracting an impressive number of buyers. The sale in Tier-I cities in India is picking up as the tournament progresses. According to Nike India's marketing director Avinash Pant, "The stores, both online and physical, are experiencing good traction in key cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. As the excitement builds up, we expect this traction to increase even further."
Unlike 2011, when Cricket World Cup accessories were limited to t-shirts, trousers and caps, this year's official sponsors have introduced seventy-three items including an array of fashionable accessories, like bags, too. "The merchandise went online in January 2015 and sales have picked up from 20 orders a day to 300 orders a day," said Atul Srivastava managing partner, Gaames Unlimited, a Bengaluru-based sports management company.