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Rajasthan Royals bets big on merchandising
Rajasthan Royals, the winner of last year's India Premier League (IPL), is betting big on merchandising and hopes to sign more sponsors this season. It has an deal with Kids Media India (KMI), a subsidiary of Dubai-based Spacetoon Media Group, for licensing and distribution of official team merchandise in the SAARC region.

The franchisee launched its new range of sports apparel in collaboration with Puma, which will provide the team with exclusive Jaipur IPL branded merchandise including team jersey, practice jersey, fan shirt and gear, caps, official shoes, cricket bats, wristbands, sports bags.

The team will also launch an energy drink in partnership with Glaxo-SmithKline's health drink brand Boost. The new partnership advances relationship from last year, when Boost was one of the brand partners of the Jaipur franchise. The energy drink is being exclusively formulated by Rajasthan Royals' physiotherapist John Gloster.

The official song of Rajasthan Royals, Halla Bol, has got a new makeover under the creative expertise and guidance of new stake-holder and co-owner Shilpa Shetty. The Royals also launched a DVD titled 'Road to Victory' showing the team's fairytale success last season.

"As champions of the inaugural IPL we believe we have the right platform to launch a nationwide merchandising initiative. Requests for Rajasthan Royals products from fans and partners alike after our win have been overwhelming and we hope to work closely with KMI to leverage this passionate following to its maximum potential," Manoj Badale, chairman and co-owner, Rajasthan Royals said.

Talking about the security concerns around IPL, Badale said the change in venue of the inaugural match from Mumbai to Jaipur is a step towards better security for players and fans. He dispelled doubts about international players not traveling to India to play for the team.

Raghu Iyer, chief marketing officer, Rajasthan Royals, said the uncertainty around the IPL schedule had brought talks with prospective sponsors to a standstill and these will resume from the coming week.

Actor Shilpa Shetty and UK-based entrepreneur Raj Kundra had recently picked up a 12% stake in the team, which is valued at $ 140 million.

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