BKT joins hands with LaLiga as Official Global Partner

Rajiv Poddar, Joint MD of tyre manufacturing company BKT and José Antonio Cachaza, MD, LaLiga India, share insights on the impact of the association for both parties

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Published: Oct 10, 2019 8:41 AM  | 5 min read
BKT LaLiga

LaLiga, the Spanish football league has been in India for 3 years and recently they have tied up with an extremely local brand - BKT as their Official Global Partner. The partnership takes immediate effect and will run until the 2021-22 season of LaLiga. Footballer Diego Forlan has been named as LaLiga's brand ambassador. LaLiga has also partnered with Esha Foundation for the Cauvery Calling Campaign as part of the brand BKT's CSR activity.

At the event held on 7th October 2019 to celebrate the three-year season deal between BKT and LaLiga, we spoke to Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director, BKT and José Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director, LaLiga India. They shared insights on the impact and outcome of this brand partnership, how LaLiga can help brand leverage and how the partnership will garner more eyeballs for BKT.

Talking about the impact of tying up with a local brand to gain more followers and the partnership's outcome Cachaza shared, "Through this global partnership we are establishing together a dialogue that reaches the world and not only India. It works both ways. LaLiga can help raise awareness of BKT in the world in markets that are really relevant to them. On the other side for us, BKT can help leverage the image of LaLiga in India. We have many things in common and we can grow in business together."

Poddar says they looking to increase brand awareness around the globe. "With the sponsored partnership with LaLiga, we are present in 183 countries. People really follow the brand. It gives us a global platform. We are looking at how we can cash in, get it out there. Today, BKT is present in 160 countries. To increase and penetrate more with our brand that is the outcome we would like", commented Poddar.

The BKT brand is particularly recognised and appreciated by Spanish users and this partnership is the perfect moment to strengthen the already existing bond. "We also do a lot of on-field activation such as exclusive tours of the stadium, play on the field with the players and kids walking alongside the players while entering the field. These experiences will generate a memory of the BKT brand, we also conduct contests for them", said Poddar.

Speaking about how LaLiga can help any brand leverage, Cachaza remarked, "To increase our fanbase, we need to increase our business. The business we can do is through increasing the value of our partner's rights and increasing our commercial partnership."

Sharing his marketing strategy for LaLiga in the Indian market Cachaza stated, "When you approach a country as big as India. It is complex and different from other countries. The way you market especially sports competitions, things are different. In the end, we are selling to the Indian market something that is happening and being experienced in Spain. When you are taking a strategic country it has to be a 360 approach. How the matches are broadcasted and which broadcasters they are and that is how you will connect to your fans. In the case of India, the partnership with Facebook is a new dialogue with our fans. This is linked to our digital strategy. Today, for LaLiga, digital is at the very core of our strategy for reaching out to fans. We have 3.7 million followers in India more than in Spain. In the whole subcontinent, we have 9 million followers on Facebook. In India, metropolitan areas are where football is growing and we need to keep our attention on the football grounds as well."

This is a decisive goal on BKT’s path of increasing its brand awareness. The company is extraordinarily active when it comes to communication and promotion – a unique and distinguishing feature. Sport is an instrument that perfectly supports BKT’s message on a global level thanks to its characteristic traits such as fair play, respect for the opponent, competition, and strategy, values that are shared by LaLiga.

Telling us more about BKT’s sports initiatives Poddar stated, “We have partnered with Monster Jam, providing tyres to them. This is to show that if our tyres can go through an event like Monster Jam it can do much simpler things. We have struck a deal with Football in France with Coupe de la Ligue. Now Serie in Italy has become Serie BKT. For both these partnerships, we have conducted surveys and brand awareness has grown multifold. We have garnered a brand awareness of 44% from 22% and in Italy and the brand recall has gone up from 12% to 28%. We are aiming to grow the partnership with KFC-BBL in Australia and take it forward. In India, we did the Pro Kabaddi League, the ICC World Cup, and Bharat Super League. We are looking forward to more such opportunities.”

Poddar shared that their marketing strategy lies in getting closer to their end-users and interacting with them more during their free time and developing a bond with them. That is why they have chosen sports as a factor and gone on the sports route.

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