Edelweiss has been among the leading financial supporters for the Indian Olympics sports. The association which has begun at a customary note 10 years back as grown up to be the status of the key funding partner – Principal Sponsor – for the Indian Olympic Association. The commitment is long – from the forthcoming Gold Coast Coming Games and the Asian Games later this year to the Tokyo Olympic Games two years later. The financial serves brand will also provide the financial muscle to the National Games during the term of the contract with the IOA.
Don’t be surprised if this all commitment is for the love for the game and the brand in seeking no major returns of this prime investment in sports. In an exclusive discussion with Insidesport.co Media and Sports Business Editor Gaurav Bhardwaj, Edelweiss Group Chairman and CEO Rashesh Shah shared the company’s vision and commitment to the sports.
Shah, a sports lover and marathon runner himself, spoke to insidesport.co on the sidelines of a media event in the Capital to announce Edelweiss and IOA tie-up, which will run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Gaurav Bhardwaj: What connects Edelweiss with Indian Olympic Sports?
Rashesh Shah: We have always been supporters of sports, specially non-cricket disciplines. We strongly believe India is now at a dead inflection point where a lot of good athletes are coming. Sports is getting momentum and we are doing our bit to support sports in whatever way we can. Our association with Indian Olympic sports dates back to 2008 when we had first come on board as sponsors of the Indian team for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
We have been supporting Indian athletes over a period of time. Now we have announced major sponsorship of Indian contingent for 2018 Gold Coast Games, 2018 Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. This a major long-term, three-year association with the IOA to sponsor the Indian Olympic team.
GB: In India, big brands park their budgets on cricket for instant and strong ROIs. What are the factors that strengthen your ties with the Indian Olympic sports?
RS: We are a very differentiated organisation. We do things that stand out. We don’t want to do what everybody else is doing. Even the product solutions we offer are always differentiated, keeping in mind the needs of the customer. Our focus on non-cricket disciplines, which a lot of support required, also establishes that Edelweiss can think out of the box. We can be differentiated and we can do things which are not automatically what the others are doing.
GB: What kind of ROIs will you be looking up to from this investment in Indian Olympic sports?
RS: This association is not about ROIs. This is about how much we can afford to sponsor, how much we can spend, how we can support them (the athletes) and grow Indian Olympic sports and in the process also make our brand stronger. ROI’s for the brand can be a by-product but not the goal for our commitment to the Olympic movement in India.
GB: How does Olympic sports in India connect you with your targeted client base?
RS: There is an athlete in everybody. We do believe that the Olympic athletes that we have really showcase to us great determination, discipline, and excellence in all. These are also the attributes we want in our organisation, brand and with our customers.
Edelweiss seeks no commercial goals in this association with Indian Olympic movement, says Shah on the parting note with a great degree of pride.