Industry

Football World Cup kicks off merchandise sales frenzy

Game for more: Sales of footballs, jerseys and other game-related merchandise are witnessing a jump.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The FIFA World Cup has not only brought excitement to football fans but also to retailers who are cashing in on the frenzy. Despite India not featuring in the World Cup, there has been a jump in Indians travelling to Russia – the host nation, as well as in the sales of jerseys, footballs and other game-related merchandise.

Travel portal MakeMyTrip recorded a 400% jump in bookings to Russia during June-July compared with the same months last year.

‘Biggest global event’

“The FIFA World Cup 2018 is one of the biggest global events this year and it coincides with one of the busiest travel times for Indians,” the company said, adding that the Russia FAN ID visa had helped ease the visa process. Additionally, the weather this time had been warm and sunny by Russian standards, so Indians are picking it up as one of their top international travel picks this summer. E-commerce players such as Snapdeal and Amazon have set up special football stores for the game enthusiasts. Snapdeal said it has seen a jump in sales of bean bags, recliners and home theatre systems. However, top selling items on the platform are football jerseys and football shoes in the colours of major teams.

“The top five highest selling jerseys are for Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Spain and France. Jerseys for Ronaldo (Portugal), Messi (Argentina), Neymar Jr. and Coutinho (both Brazil) are the most searched for,” said a Snapdeal spokesperson.

Likewise, online portal Shopclues said it had been selling about 4,000 footballs and 300-350 jerseys everyday on an average in the past 16 days. Germany, Argentina and Portugal remain popular fan jerseys. The platform is seeing about 45% of the demand coming from Kolkata, Darjeeling, Durgapur, Asansol, Siliguri in the east, 35% from Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Madurai in the south, 15% from Pune, Ahmednagar, Rajkot, Bhopal in the west. “For jerseys, we get orders mainly from Kolkata, Siliguri, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram,” Shopclues said.

Revenue driver

“We have indeed witnessed a sharp spike in football-related products which includes footballs, jerseys, shorts and tracks. The football World Cup is a big revenue driver for the sports business with football contribution to business increasing by 40% over April-June,” said Puspen Maity, VP and head, sports, footwear and accessories, Myntra.

Even in the offline space, Alcis Sports that won the rights for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia-licenced apparel merchandise in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, had seen a 50% spike in sales of football merchandise.

Children’s products

“Before the tournament started, Argentina team merchandise was the most popular but during the tournament, we have seen popularity of Germany and England team merchandise take over,” said Roshan Baid, managing director, Alcis Sports. Interestingly, the company has come up with products for children in the age group of 4-14, which is seeing good traction.

Online portal Bigsmall.in unveiled a special collection of sunglasses and beer mugs. Its co-founder Aman Hans said fan sunglasses (with colours/flags of various countries) were the most popular product with the company selling over 1,000 units. “We saw people ordering all the 6-7 variants sunglasses. With the world cup, you don’t necessarily support one team… your favourite club has many players across countries.”

The company also launched products such as action figures, football and trophy shaped beer mugs, Trophy replicas among others to woo buyers.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 7:12:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/football-world-cup-kicks-off-merchandise-sales-frenzy/article24300857.ece

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