In its decision to leverage the much-anticipated ICC World Cup 2019 global frenzy and eyeballs, dairy major Amul has partnered with Afghanistan Cricket Board and has announced its principal sponsorship for the Afghanistan Cricket Team.
Calling it a significant association, Asadullah Khan, CEO, Afghanistan Cricket Board, shared, “This is a big moment for Afghanistan cricket and we are extremely happy that Amul will sponsor us for the World Cup. This is the first time we will play in the World Cup as a full member and the preparations are good. We hope to do well.”
“We take it as an extension of India’s warmth and hospitality towards us as a nation and cricket team. The sponsorship primarily facilitates our players to perform better. This sponsorship will help us strengthen our positioning in Indian market for other brands to also notice us eventually”, he told GW.
The deal will see the logo of brand AMUL appearing on the sleeve of Afghanistan team playing jerseys as well as on the training kits throughout the World Cup from May 30 to July 14, 2019.
Going by the history of Amul’s various associations with sports teams and events in India, the move appears to be another conscious attempt by the brand to stay relevant and consistent with its brand communication in the sports arena, largely focussed on youth.
“The ICC World Cup is another opportunity to connect with the Indian Youth, however cricket being a strongly followed sport is seen by every member of the household. The ICC World Cup 2015 was seen by over 600 million people in India and we are sure this world cup will also add more viewers through TV and digital”, R.S Sodhi, Managing Director, Amul told GW.
Sodhi thinks the Afghanistan cricket team has a fan-following of its own and the brand is also betting on its players’ popularity in just-concluded Indian Premier League as well.
“We have partnered with the Afghanistan Cricket team, a young team driven with passion and potential to perform. This team is one of the fastest growing team in the last decade to have ranked no.10 in ICC ODI ranking and no.7 in T20 rankings. The team played their first Test match against India and they won their first Test match against Ireland at Dehradun.”
“The players also have a strong following in India and have the love and respect of Indians, thanks to their performance in IPL”, he opined.
Going forward, Sodhi also didn’t deny the possibility of Afghanistan players appearing in Amul’s advertising campaigns.
Not many know, Amul and Afghanistan share a slice of history. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Frontier Gandhi had visited Amul in 1969 and had met Dr V Kurien and studied the activities of the dairy cooperative. Subsequently, several delegations of women milk producers from Afghanistan have visited Amul. According to Amul, it is a strong model of rural upliftment and women empowerment which has been recognised by the people of Afghanistan and is also exporting its milk powders, baby food since last two decades.