It may have been born out of IPL but Chennai Super Kings is looking to expand beyond cricket with plans to set up 'health cafes' and setting a target of garnering over 60 per cent of revenues from business outside the T20 league in about 10 years time.
The franchise owned by India Cements has also signed up car maker Nissan and Chennai-based real estate firm VGN as sponsor partners as it gears up for this season.
"It has been six years since Chennai Super Kings came into existence. While our core remains cricket, we have been also expanding in other sports such as chess, snooker, tennis and badminton. Now we are experimenting with the idea of health cafes," India Cements General Manager Marketing Chandrabhan told PTI.
He said the first of the health cafes, which will also have merchandise stores and games facilities, will be opened in Chennai this year between April and June.
"The idea is that in about 10 years time, 60 per cent of our (CSK's) business must come from equity outside of the IPL," Chandrabhan said, while declining to share the number of health cafes that have been planned to be opened.
"Since the cafes will offer products related to health, besides other normal food and beverages, we need to be 100 per cent right while we come up with it. So we will be slow and steady with the cafes. Moreover, it will also reflect Tamil culture considering
the fact that CSK is Chennai based," Chandrabhan added.
On the plans for this season, he said: "We have signed up Nissan as our official car partner, while real estate firm VGN has also joined us in a long term partnership," he said.
The IPL franchise is targeting revenue of over Rs 10 crore this year from merchandise sales alone, as compared to Rs 7 crore last year.
"We will have a total of 73 range of merchandise out of which 66 will be lifestyle and 7 will be team uniform related.As we have increased the lifestyle range, which sells round the year, we expect revenues to go up," he said.
Commenting on the future target of merchandise sales, Chandrabhan said: "By 2018, our aim is to sell a total of one million units of merchandise across all range."
CSK has roped in Tirupur-based PGC, the retailer of Swiss brand Switcher, as its lifestyle merchandise partner.
On the marketing spend for this season, he said there could be an overall 15-17 per cent increase by all the sponsors of the team compared to Rs 39 crore last year.
Asked about CSK's contract with Pepsi, he said: "This is the last of the three year contract we had signed. We have started talks for renewing it and are hopeful that we will continue the partnership."