adidas football tours, training and stores for India

Sportswear giant Adidas, official partner to world football body FIFA till 2014, is keen to fly in English Premier League champions Chelsea or last season’s Champions League winner Liverpool to Calcutta, India. “We are now apparel sponsors of Chelsea and Liverpool and in the next two years, we could have one of these top teams playing here. There’s a growing EPL fan base in the country, nowhere more so than in Calcutta,” Andreas Gellner, managing director, Adidas India Marketing Pvt Ltd, told The Telegraph (India).

Adidas, which was instrumental in getting Bayern Munich to Calcutta, is also commercially associated with AC Milan and Olympic Marseille. Many of the clubs now routinely tour East and South East Asia as pre-season promo, and the retail major is exploring possibilities of tying in an Indian leg, with Calcutta as a “sure stop”.

“All big brands are now looking at alternatives to cricket in India, which is supersaturated, and what better alternative than football? We want to take the +Challenge success story forward by going to schools, tying up with existing academies or even working with the All India Football Federation,” Gellner said.

Adidas, which recently unveiled its first flagship store, a 9,000-sq-ft outlet in Bangalore, is scouting for property to replicate the swank format in Calcutta. A “testimony to the confidence” in the local market, it will be geared to offer “experiential shopping, addressing all the senses”, with customised and programmed music, smell management, clear sight lines and smart visual signage.

“As soon as we can identify the right location (offering 6,000 to 8,000 sq ft of space), we will bring our flagship store to Calcutta,” stressed Gellner.