India catches Fifa World Cup fever

India…India….India…India. That is something you won’t be hearing in this 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Coming to the sore point about our country’s participation in the global event, even though we have a population of more than 1.3 Billion of which more than 50% fall under the age of 25. It baffles me why we cannot have a team capable enough to make it all the way. Again, I am not trying to demean the efforts of the existing players and in no way suggesting they are incompetent. It is more to do with the environment and facilities that are almost non-existent. We have never been part of any world cup although the team did qualify by default in 1950 after all the other nations in our qualification group withdrew. However, we withdrew prior to the beginning of the tournament.

There has been some progress lately and we are seeing a shift in sports preference from the newer generation and thanks to the huge investments in football by Reliance, the ISL has grown considerably popular and viewership has increased year on year. The audience with the exposure to the various European leagues fixtures and UEFA’s various formats have accepted football as a viewing sport and the matches have made itself a talking point amongst youngsters, with each one choosing a team which they associate. The fan base for each team has considerably increased especially the teams from England and Spain and the largest followers being for Real Madrid which stands at 77.3 Million across all digital platforms.

FIFA brings in great interest in football and most fans are for Argentina and Brazil, with Portugal, England, Germany, Spain and Italy being the other countries. We see great enthusiasm and match screenings are the new way to catch up with friends. The world cup truly gets people together irrespective of your country’s participation and this particularly holds true for us. SET India the broadcast partners for the world cup has used this as a campaign idea and created an amazing connect with the audience using the idea “Meri Doosri Country”.

Russia 2018 will be a defining world cup for two of greatest legends to grace the field; Messi and Ronaldo. It will probably be their last world cup and both with their respective teams will try their very best to lift the golden trophy. One team that will be missed is Italy and it is still something the fans need to overcome. The world cup has always seen Italy’s participation and this will be the first time in 60 years that the Azzuris have not qualified considering they are 4 time champions and have players of exceptional quality. Of the other teams Brazil is always the crowd favourite because of the way they play, its pure magic. They will this time be out for revenge against Germany for the humiliating defeat they suffered at home turf in 2014. Germany the current holders will try to do a double. The team looks in good shape apart from a few ageing players. My dark horse is the Belgian side A.K.A Red Devils. They are the side to watch out as they have players with exceptional talent and good both in attack and defence. Let us hope to see a fantastic battle between the teams and I am hoping my doosri country wins.

On the merchandise front we have been witnessing this change from early 2013, when we first decided to take a shot at the FIFA world cup 2014. We were unsure of how a cricket crazy country would react to the merchandise though we knew that as an aspirational sport the merchandise would sell coupled with the interest in football. Our bet paid off and we did some unbelievable sales. This gave us confidence to look at football offerings more closely. We now have Real Madrid and of course FIFA 2018 merchandise in the market with more categories activated.

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia has a whole host of authentic licensed merchandise ranging from Apparel to Bags, Sippers, Footballs, Footwear, gifts and novelties and more with prices beginning at INR 299. The Alcis 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia fan wear range comprises over 550 products with T-Shirts, Polo T-shirts, Shorts, Track pants, Tracksuits, Hoodies, Jackets, Sweatshirts, Jerseys and Caps. The range starts at INR 399. The merchandise is available from 1000+ apparel stores and large format stores like Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop, Max Retail, Central, Globus, Sports Station along with leading e-commerce platforms.

So while you will be watching the biggest sporting event from 14th of this month, do show your love for the assortment of merchandise we have put out for you. Help us create more fanatics and support our cause, which is none except it makes good business.

Spotlight – FIFA Under 17 World Cup India

The excitement is palpable and football fever is in the air, what with the Football Under -17 World cup India being barely 2 weeks away. It is the first time that India is holding a FIFA event and that it is an Under -17 World Cup is doubly apt because India has the largest youth population in the world with 356 million 10-24-year-olds. 24 teams from across the world including host country India will vie for becoming the FIFA Under 17 World Champions and the excitement has been building up across quarters.  The run-up to the event saw the launch of Mission 11 Million, a government initiative that sought to engage 11 million kids across the country in football-related activities. 6 cities, Delhi, Margao, Kolkatta, Kochi, Navi Mumbai and Guwahati will have the pride and honor of hosting 32 matches. There have been events galore from school to state levels, there has been massive press coverage and there is an overall upliftment in the football infrastructure and facilities. Many a football superstar from a Luis Figo to a Toni Kroos took their first steps to international fame and fortune at a FIFA Under 17 stage and therefore holding this epic event in India has massive potential for what it could do the status of football in India.


As Dream Theatre, we are feeling the excitement at another level with the FIFA Under 17 World Cup. We support FIFA’s licensing programme in India and South Asia from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil onwards and are seeing a massive spurt in interest. The India licensing programme in 2014 saw activation across 3 main categories of apparel, bags, and watches. The programme was available across the top- 8-10 cities and had a strong retail presence across Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons and Central stores. While the football viewership was one of the largest across the world, what was amazing was that the licensed merchandise at retail found solid resonance and that for us was a sure shot indicator of the potential of football in a uni sports country that loves its cricket.  Cut to 2017 and the FIFA Under 17 cup will have its own dedicated licensed merchandise programme and fans will have chance to buy a plethora of merchandise: Apparel ( Rs. 499 onwards) Gifts and Novelties ( Metal posters, Plush, Ceramic Mugs, Bag tags, Magnets, Caps etc)  with prices are in the Rs. 150-500 range will be available across retail. The products will be on shelves in close to 150 stores of Shoppers Stop, Max Retail, Central,  Globus,  Sports Station and across a 1000+ apparel and sports stores in around 22 cities across India. Retailers too are massively “in” with a big focus on the U-17 merchandise and have a whole host of promotions and offers. The merchandise will also be available across top E-tailers like Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra to ensure that football fans across the country can get their hands on to authentic merchandise. In yet another first for India, the merchandise will also be retailed at In-stadium kiosks in 6 cities where the matches are being held, allowing fans the chance to buy FIFA U-17 merchandise as they walk in to watch the matches.  The FIFA U-17 World Cup Sponsors have latched onto the licensed merchandise programmes well and are collaborating with licensees to use licensed merchandise for their marketing and outreach programmes making it a 360-degree engagement.


What we are therefore witnessing is sure, but solid steps that football is taking in India. As is the Licensing programs build around sports and especially soccer.  From players to fans and from the joy of witnessing a world class match in India to the growing stature of the business of licensing for football, we are feeling a buzz, a buzz that we are sure will only grow louder and stronger. Come join the excitement!

Sports Licensing Playground!

Sports licensing is a fast growing emerging segment. And to leverage the opportunities from the large ‘fan’ base, Dream Theatre representing FIFA World Cup 2014 has its licensed merchandised products out there on the leading e-commerce websites.


The licensed products include apparel, shades and watches and to make these available to the millions of fans, they can be found across leading e-retailers like, Flipkart and Myntra!

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These products are casual yet fashionable and its true passion has no season. Football fever never fades! Consumers want to experience popular icons in their day-to-day lives with a variety of licensed merchandise!