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Amul believes in the power of sports: R S Sodhi, MD, Amul, on sponsoring New Zealand team in upcoming ICC Champions Trophy

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Amul believes in the power of sports: R S Sodhi, MD, Amul, on sponsoring New Zealand team in upcoming ICC Champions Trophy

Amul will be the prime sponsor of the New Zealand cricket team in the ICC Champions Trophy starting from June 1, 2017 in England. The Blackcaps (who are in the same group with Australia, England and Bangladesh in the Champion’s Trophy) would sport a new jersey with the Amul logo during the tournament.

R S Sodhi, MD of Amul, responds to our queries about the brand’s association with the New Zealand cricket team and other associations in the sports segment. He also reveals how Amul became the largest FMCG brand of India even after spending less than 1% of its annual revenue on advertising compared to other FMCG brands that spend close to 6–15%.

Why has Amul decided to sponsor the New Zealand cricket team and choose ICC Champions Trophy?

Milk is and has been the world’s original energy drink and is a favorite among sporting personalities for generations. We believe in encouraging every individual to believe in the power of milk and its ability to refresh and energize each one of us.

New Zealand is a strong dairy nation with an equally strong cooperative network for farmers. It reflects the philosophy of Amul, a cooperative which is owned by 3.6 million (36 lakh) farmers of Gujarat. Amul’s ‘Cow to Consumer’ model ensures that for every Re.1 that Amul earns by selling milk and milk products, 80 paise is given back to the farmer. India and New Zealand are both strong dairy farming nations and share a similar belief in the development of our farmers and ensuring their welfare.

Hence, we felt this association with the New Zealand team during the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy would stand testimony as a celebration of our farmers and a recurrent reminder to ‘Eat Milk with Every Meal’ with Amul Milk.

What previous integrations and sponsorships has brand Amul done in the sports segment?

Amul has always believed in the power of sports and has encouraged sportspeople in every discipline. In the past, we have partnered with the Indian Olympic Association to be the official sponsor of the Indian Contingent for Olympics in 2012, 2016 and the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2014. We also sponsored the Netherlands cricket team during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

What were the results of such integrations?

Our association with every sport or sporting league has helped us significantly over the years. Amul Milk is India’s largest milk brand today and we sell over 225 lakh milk packs per day. We reach every Indian and on the lips of every consumer we hear the words “Amul Doodh Peeta Hai India”. We believe this is a testimony to the success of our campaign and our sporting associations.

Brands like Vivo, Vodafone and Hero are sponsoring teams and leagues in India whereas other brands are also entering the league scene in the country. Does Amul sponsor teams or leagues in the increasing sports marketing scenario in India? Is it already associated with some?

Amul has partnered with sports and various sporting fraternities and we would continue to partner with them in the days to come. We are also active in all popular sporting leagues such as Indian Premier League, Indian Super League and Pro Wrestling League.

What does the Amul marketing budget look like in the coming few years? Is it going to be campaigns and sponsorship heavy?

Amul has believed in and practised value-aided campaigns and media associations, which have always benefitted the brand. Amul has been spending less than 1% of its annual revenues since 1973 unlike all other FMCG brands, which spend close to 6–15% and this has helped build a judicious use of media campaigns. Our strategy of ‘umbrella branding’ has helped our brands for years and we would continue with this in future.

Amul will be the largest FMCG company if it maintains the CAGR and beats HUL. What’s the plan?

Amul is the largest FMCG brand of India with over Rs. 38,000 crore in revenue, considering the group turnover of all member unions, which sell milk and milk products under the brand name Amul.

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