Patanjali plays Swadesh card, no sponsorship for IPL

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Patanjali Ayurved will continue with its stand to stay out of the Indian Premier League. India’s indigenous FMCG brand Patanjali will yet again not advertise in the league of “foreigner’s game”.

The Haridwar-based Patanjali Ayurved Limited, better known as Baba Ramdev’s brand and among the top advertisement spenders in the country, has always stayed away from IPL to promote its brand and products.

Patanjali Ayurved chief executive Acharya Balkrishna has told financial daily Economic Times that the FMCG brand will not invest in a sport that is not Indian. “The sport (IPL) as it promotes consumerism and is sponsored by multinationals. Patanjali will invest in sports which are Indian and promote Indian sports at the grassroots such as wrestling and kabaddi,” ET has reported Acharya Balkrishan as saying. “We will continue to invest in local sports which promote the culture of the country,” Acharya Balkrishna added.

Patanjali has been the lead sponsor for the Indian wrestling league and has also backed the Kabaddi World Cup. The brand spends a major chunk of its nearly ₹400 crore marketing budget on news and GEC television platforms.

Market experts believe Patanjali has smartly managed to play its “swadeshi” card by staying away from cricket. “Staying away from IPL is Patanjali’s smart strategy. While being questioned for its absence from one of India’s biggest marketing spaces, the brand is striking the subconscious of its consumers, and then responding by playing its biggest marketing card – Swadeshi. Otherwise, in modern day context cricket has become more Indian than any other sport. No other sport is depicted as “a religion” in India. No other nation controls cricket as much the world over as India does in all aspects of the sport,” says Ashish Chadha, Chief Executive, Sporty Solutionz.

“Cricket is immensely contributing to the Indian exchequer, sports eco-system and the sports industry in the country. IPL has emerged as an indigenous Indian industry that is providing career opportunities and growth to ‘n’ number of people – professionals, skilled and unskilled. Players and officials are a very small chunk of that opportunities pool. Its commercial impact is global,” adds Chadha.

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