Eskay adds Indian touch to World Cup in Germany

In a win for the Indian textile industry, Mumbai-based Eskay K’n’It has received an initial order to supply 150,000 T-shirts to T-Com, a German telecom major. The company is a premium partner of the German Football Association and the 2006 World Cup to he held in the country. As part of its marketing strategy, T-Com will hand out special custom-made T-shirt to every spectator entering the stands. The total demand is of 1,500,000 T-shirts. Moreover, Eskay K’n’IT is also expecting an order to make jerseys for the German football team.

“We had supplied about 400 T-shirts to Germany in July 2005 when qualifying rounds were on. We had made jerseys for players and referees,” Navin Kumar Tayal, chairman of Eskay K’n’It, told Prince Mathews Thomas of the Business Standard. Later T-Com asked Eskay Kn’IT to supply 25,000 pieces for a trial run; the same marketing strategy used in the previous World Cup held in South Korea and Japan in 2002.

What makes these T-shirts special? "A special treatment — Weiking finish — is used to make the t-shirts. This enables the outer side of the fabric to suck sweat from the inside, keeping the players fresh," said Tayal. The company also imported dyes (five times the cost of the normal one) from Germany.

The 100 percent polyester T-shirt, which has the traditional German black-red-yellow stripes, is made of three different kinds of fabrics. The T-shirt has already featured in T-Com’s television ad for the World Cup. The T-shirts for T-Com cost about $4 per piece. "The cost is too low compared to the publicity T-Com will get through the T-shirts," Tayal quipped.