There is an appetite for non-cricket talent in the country: Parth Jindal, CEO, BFC

Parth Jindal on his hopes for Bengaluru FC for the 5th edition of ISL, the youth academy and the growth of sports marketing in India, etc

parthjindal

Parth Jindal, the heir to the JSW Group of companies, wears many hats. He is the Managing Director of JSW Cement, CEO of Bengaluru FC (the Indian Super League franchise based out of Bengaluru). He heads the JSW Venture Fund, and he is also the Director of JSW Sport, the sports venture by JSW Group.

The Bengaluru FC headed by Jindal recently made headlines by roping in Kia Motors as title sponsors. The team also had a fine start in the fifth season of ISL, they defeated the current champions Chennai FC and a 2-2 draw with Jamshedpur FC.

In a quick chat with exchange4media at the event which witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the four-year deal with Kia Motors, Jindal spoke about his hopes from Bengaluru FC for the 5th edition of ISL, the youth academy and the growth of sports marketing in India.

Talking about BFC’s association with Kia Motors, Jindal said, “Bengaluru Football Club’s partnership with Kia is a historic association in Indian football. Kia has a rich background of partnerships with sports, including a host of world-class sporting events and teams. For Kia to choose Bengaluru FC as a medium to announce its presence in India is a matter of pride for the club and is also a big testament to the fan culture that the team and the city have created. The JSW name that the club wore with pride, is now entwined in Bengaluru FC. Now, with Kia alongside us, we are looking forward to doing great things to grow the sport in the country".

“The first aim is to be in the Top 4 and reach the play-offs. Last season, we topped the league, but when it came to the final we fell a little short. So, this season, we are approaching it in a slightly different way. Our target is to win the ISL championship. We made a good start with a win over Chennai FC, I believe our team can achieve that,” said Jindal speaking about BFC’s goal for this season of ISL.

The JSW Group launched their residential youth academy in 2015. The academy has nearly 64 children from the age group of under 12 to under 18 training there.

“This year, five of our players in the youth academy graduated to the Bengaluru FC team,” said Jindal.

Talking about sports marketing in the country, Jindal said, “As the sports in the country is growing, more and more brand association has begun. As a club we want to make sure any brands that is associated with Bangalore FC, Delhi Daredevils, Haryana Steelers is be able to maximise the mileage they can drive from the activities with us. They are able to entwin it with their advertising and media campaigns. What we are focusing on JSW sports is to make sure all brands associated with us can derive maximum benefit from the association. We want to help the brands reach out to their customers in a much more evolved way.”

Speaking about the current trends in Indian sports marketing, Jindal said, “Lot more brands are partnering with sports teams. I am also seeing a lot more focus on non-cricket sports. In non-cricket sports people like Hima Das, Manik Batra, Neeraj Chopra are becoming brand ambassadors for different brands. It is showing that sports, other than cricket, is growing in India. There is an appetite and recognition for non-cricket talent in the country.”

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