Sportiff India will be launching its branded sports goods shop christened “sports-locker” all over India, starting off with Chennai followed by Hyderabad and Bangalore. It has plans to cover other cities in the South like Coimbatore and Mysore before it proceeds North. The Chennai launch happened on January 5, 2004 with Carlos Mayo (who is in Chennai to compete at the Tata Open) inaugurating the store. Some of the brands housed in the store are SS, SG, MRF cricket gear, Head & Babolat tennis gear, Gosen & Babolat badminton equipments, Sportiff sports apparel for men and women. Sportiff is the exclusive distributor of the international Babolat brand, which is one of the leading brands in tennis gear. About 45% of its sales will be spent in advertising and promotions of the stores. Focus will be more on in-store activities, events like a sports apparel fashion show, PR, outdoor hoardings and print initially. In April the company is planning to launch its swimwear collection with ladies sports apparel given more emphasis.
Sportiff will be on the look out for an ad agency around the same time for the new sports apparel launches. Says, Altaf M. Vahanvaty, Managing Director, sports-locker, “I am looking at an agency, which matches our wavelength and can relate to our target consumers with a host of new concepts. Ladies sports apparel has a huge potential and we would looking at tapping this segment and promote it in a significant manner.”
MRF has set up a manufacturing base in Coimbatore for cricket bats and sports-locker will receive custom-made cricket bats for exclusive purchase in the stores. Sportiff is the exclusive distributor of Babolat brand, which is one of the leading brands in tennis gear. Says Altaf, “ The Babolat brand is the most ideal choice for a player who focuses on `power play’ and we will be pushing this brand aggressively in our outlets. We will be moving from sport to sport and strengthen our sports brand collection in a phased manner. The store format has an international appeal and is well organized. The interiors of the store is fashioned in such a manner, that in-store events like a sports fashion show can be organised with ease. We will also be endorsing our sports goods through well-known players in the circuit”
Speaking about the target segments Altaf says, “Our consumers will be segmented as top end, mid segment and the economy segment though our primary consumers will be those at the top end. We cater to the leisure sports person, the professional and the keep fit person as well.”
Sportiff is targeting a roll out of about 60 sports-locker stores across India in the next three to five years.