German sports brand PUMA has signed a strategic long-term deal with Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), under which PUMA will be RCB's official kit partner for IPL 2021.
Notably, Indian captain Virat Kolhi is already the brand ambassador of PUMA for its brand one8. He was the first Indian sportsman to sign over Rs 100 crore eight-year deal with PUMA in 2017, joining the likes of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Thierry Henry.
"We are excited to partner with RCB, one of the most popular teams in the IPL. Our similar brand ethos coupled with the team's growing fan base and extensive social following makes RCB our ideal partner on the cricket pitch," Abhishek Ganguly, managing director, PUMA India and Southeast Asia.
He said over the past few months, sports has had a positive influence by bringing about a sense of cheer among our consumers. "With more people playing and following their favourite game, the culture of sport will strengthen and evolve further. We are committed to fuelling this passion by continuing to invest in the right products, partners and players in the sporting ecosystem," he said.
"It's great to welcome PUMA to the RCB family! A global brand with a strong sporting vision and great quality products, their extensive distribution network through offline and online channels will ensure fans have access to RCB merchandise across the country," Kohli was quoted as saying in a media release.
As part of the deal, PUMA will have exclusive branding rights to RCB's takedown and replica jerseys, and other clothing lines like polo tees, shorts, pants, flip flops and caps. This will give RCB a pan-India reach via its e-commerce channels and retails outlets.
The IPL season 2021 will kickstart on April 9 in Chennai and the final will take place on May 30 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. The event is being hosted in the country after two years.
RCB will take on defending champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener to be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on April 9.