Betting big on the popularity of cricket in India, Diageo-owned Bengaluru franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has forayed into consumer products segment to explore retail merchandise of licensed products as a potential revenue stream. The team aims to cash in on the brand RCB as well as its marquee player Virat Kohli. The franchise has roped in knitwear brand Status Quo to launch apparel range. Also Black White Orange Brand has been appointed as the global licensing partner to expand the merchandise into figurines, mobile covers, back-to-school product range and more in the coming months. The first to hit the stores will be lifestyle fashion apparels, including t-shirts, under RCB athleisure – the first time for any IPL team to launch apparel range beyond the traditional offering of player and fan kits. In words of Amrit Thomas, chairman, RCB and CMO, Diageo India, “While the IPL season is over, the journey is not. And we want to build RCB as a lifestyle brand, which remains relevant throughout the year and not just during the two months when IPL is on.” “With the launch of RCB Athleisure wear, the fans who form the true force behind the franchise can sport their love through merchandise that goes beyond regular fan kits. Each of our designs are an extension of the team’s fearless & bold attitude which resonates with the youth of today.” As per Thomas, the merchandise will allow the team to build a stronger bond with fans, who form the true force behind the franchise. The RCB Autumn-Winter 2017 will have about 24 options and Status Quo is manufacturing around 20,000 to 25,000 pieces of merchandise. Later, when IPL’s next season kicks off, the Spring-Summer collection will be launched which will see over 37 options and 40,000 to 50,000 pieces in market. Bobby Arora, director, Status Quo, said, “The fan following for RCB team is phenomenal and we are expecting the fans would give a similar response to the apparel collection. This is the first time any brand has done an official lifestyle fashion apparel collection for a team and we are really excited to see how our customers will react to the collection.” Bhavik Vora - Founder & CEO at Black White Orange brands Pvt. Ltd says, "T20 Cricket is the biggest sporting event in the world and has developed unprecedented fandom over the last 10 years. RCB is one of the most popular T20 teamsand it's the right time to extend this franchise into various touch points.” The range will be available across retails stores pan India by October 2017 and will be priced between INR 800-1000.
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