The Volkswagen group is ready to capitalize on the cricket fever of India which is going to grip the sport frenzy fans of the country due to the fifth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting on Wednesday 4 April, 2012.
According to Neeraj Garg, Director of Passenger Car Sales in India, Volkswagen is facing the challenge of brand recall in India and will use the platform of IPL to make an impression in the minds through its launch of new models of Polo and Vento under the IPL special edition.
“Brand recall is still a challenge for Volkswagen in India. We hope the IPL will help us reach more people and improve our brand recall,” said Neeraj Garg at a press conference held in Chennai, India on Tuesday.
Since its season one, the shortest format of cricket has registered grand success and has been a case study for one of the most inspiring business model across the sporting world. Pamm Kellet, Associate Professor in Sports Management, Deakin University, Melbourne, termed the sporting event as “a catalyst for growth of commercialization of sports in India.”
In 2011, the Volkswagen group sold 2000 units of Vento launched under the IPL edition. In March 2012, the company recorded sales of 8326 units against 8095 units in the same month last, up by nearly three percent. In February this year, the company sold a total of 6529 units. Sales in March indicate a jump of 27 per cent in the month-on-month sales data.
With the two year contract with IPL expiring with the current season of the sport, the company is aggressively pursuing various strategies including television advertising, stadium branding, visual merchandise in the showrooms amidst others during the season five of IPL.
The company recalled the effect of IPL on the brand Volkswagen in 2011, “Last year, the IPL variants not only brought in customers to our showrooms, they also had a rub-off effect on our other brands.”
The special IPL edition of Vento and Polo would be embedded with additional exciting features including dual color seat covers, specially designed floor mats, multi-featured entertainment system amidst others.