Amul has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Portuguese Football Federation and is now the Regional Sponsor of the Portugal National team. With this, the dairy brand Amul becomes the first Indian Regional Sponsor in the history of the Portuguese Football Federation. Amul’s interest in sports is not new but their choice of backing a global sport rather than just investing in cricket like most brands do is a smart strategy according to experts.
“Amul is setting the right example of looking beyond just cricket and focusing on global sports. Football is the biggest sport globally and being associated with it would only mean reaching out to a bigger audience set for the brand,” says Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India. Sinha and his company are long term media partners of the dairy major.
He says collaborations like these get a brand a new set of audience and a new vocabulary to speak to the audience. For him, sports and Amul are an appropriate match because the brand’s products are energy driven and being associated with sports sits perfectly with the brand ethos.
According to Sinha, movies and sports are the two tent poles of marketing that will only become bigger in the days to come and associations like this would push growth by increasing reach and amplifying engagement.
Interestingly, as per reports, the Indian sports industry clocked a business value of Rs 9,530 crore in the year 2021 recording a 62 percent year-on-year growth. Sports is a part of every brand’s marketing playbook these days. The immense reach and engagement that sports offers is hard to miss.
What differentiates brands though is the choice of sport that they back. The fact that Amul is associating with football shows their aspirations to widen the audience profile.
Ajit Gurnani , Chief Growth Officer, Publicis Media Services explains how.
According to Gurnani this is a strategic and clutter-breaking move from the dairy brand.
“With this deal Amul will be able to garner massive visibility from across the world especially now where a lot of people will tune in to watch football. There are people who watch football once in four years during the FIFA World Cup, this is a good way to reach out to them as well,” he says.
He adds that while the investment that went into locking this deal is unknown so it is difficult to get an estimate on the ROI, however from a brand and media perspective it is a smart move.
“Amul has a set pattern when it comes to such sponsorships and collaborations. They normally tend to look at a combination of efficiency and factors that add to their brand value and this sponsorship caters to both of these fundamentals,” Gurnani tells Storyboard18.
Before their association with the Portuguese Football Federation, Amul had also announced several other initiatives in the space.
Just last month Amul came onboard as the regional sponsor of the Argentina football team for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. In the past the brand has been a part of various other sponsorship deals across sporting categories. For instance, at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Amul had a sponsorship agreement with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). They also extended their support to the IOA for the Rio Olympics 2016, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and more.
Overall, Amul has been unlocking the potential in the sports sector for almost a decade now.
Vidur Naik, Managing Partner, TCM Platform, Zoo Media’s sports focused vertical applauds the fact that Amul is partnering with two football federations. According to him this would also endorse the growth of football in India.
“There is great brand synergy with Milk being the world’s first energy drink, using powerful imagery of iconic athletes can help further boost consumption and build brand imagery," says Naik, adding that the key for these partnerships will be the activation of the rights granted.