Simon Hawkins, Senior Vice President and GM, FIFA and Football Business Unit, Global Brands Group, said, “India is one of the strategic markets for FIFA and for Global Brands because the market is growing. Two per cent of the population plays football which is around 20 million people. Over the next four or five years, India is going to grow significantly. We are confident in the ability of Amigo Sports to deliver the same experience to our clientele and to aggressively roll-out the FIFA brand and FIFA retail stores in this fast growing upwardly mobile Indian market.”
Amigo Sports will be setting up FIFA official stores across India. The first of the flagship stores will come up in the Palladium Mall and Oberoi Mall in Mumbai followed by other stores across the country. They plan to open 17 FIFA stores across India. Amigo Sports has also tied up with departmental stores like Shoppers Stop, Central and Westside to sell and promote official FIFA branded merchandize. Hawkins says, “Amigo Sports has opened one store a day for the last 40 days. All these 40 stores are shop-in-shops in large format stores. Currently, we have 500 stores contracted over the next four years. By the end of year we should probably have 250 to 260 stores. Our stores are from 100 to 1,000 sq. ft. in area.”
The FIFA official store experience promises fans an innovative and entertaining in-store football experience. The stores will stock official FIFA collections, event merchandize and products from FIFA commercial affiliates. FIFA Collections is FIFA’s football lifestyle apparel and accessories range designed with a unique signature fusing football, fashion and culture. Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman, Amigo Sports, says, “FIFA is an iconic brand, and has reached millions across the globe. In India, football is fast becoming a huge draw and there is a big following for the sport. We feel that this is the right time to launch the brand in the Indian market. We look to reach out to the football crazy Indians through various touch points and innovative formats.”
FIFA footwear is likely to be launched in autumn/winter or spring/summer ’11. The brand is also looking at launching children’s wear this autumn/winter. The brand has big plans to broaden its women’s wear segment.