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    Bajaj Allianz takes the football route to Indians heart

    Synopsis

    This year apart from the five main winners, cash prizes worth Rs 7.20 lakhs will be given to three winners from every city where the selection process takes place.

    MUMBAI: It maybe the Olympic season, but for 40,000 children across various cities in India football is their ticket to fame. And this ticket is being given to them by Bajaj Allianz through its Junior Football Camp.

    In its third year now, Bajaj Allianz Junior Football Camp this time is much larger than the previous two editions. Rituraj Bhattacharya, head of market management at Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance says technology has been a great enabler: "technology has helped us reach out to a larger number of people this year."

    Talking about the football connect, Bhattacharya says, "This is a good way to promote football in our country. It also portrays the brand in a different perspective and gets the involvement of parents." Bhattacharya reveals that many parents who accompany their kids to the camp are mostly watching their child play for the first time.

    The event this year was conducted across 120 cities including Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Kerala and across North East compared to 41 cities last year. The run up to the event started in June and the finalists are selected by end of August.

    Since last two years India has been sending 5 boys to Allianz Arena in Munich to attend a match as well as to meet football stars from FC Bayern Munich like Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller among others. After returning from Munich, the young stars get the opportunity to train with Mohun Bagan's Youth Development Program.

    This year apart from the five main winners, cash prizes worth Rs 7.20 lakhs will be given to three winners from every city where the selection process takes place. Bhattacharya is not looking at the activity from a return on investment lens and says that was never the aim globally either.

    However he does admit that the cities where the Junior Football Camp has been conducted does show significant improvement for Bajaj Allianz business, "it is also a good consolidation activity for us," says Bhattacharya. Most work done for the activity is handled by staff at the local city office.

    The use of mobile technology - a blend of 'missed call' campaign and mobile short code campaign - has led to increase in participation numbers this year says Bhattacharya. Globally Bajaj Allianz has been associated with football since 2000 and today about 40 countries participate in the event.
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