Disney, MI eye Rs 14cr via ltd edition merchandise

Mumbai: The Walt Disney Company, consumer product retailing arm of global animation giant and Mukesh Ambani-owned IPL team Mumbai Indians are expecting a revenue of Rs 14 crore from the limited edition `Mickey Cricket`, a company official has said.

Disney and the Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians have launched a collection that includes apparel and accessories, footwear, stationery, home and toys, all featuring Disney`s five famous characters, in cricketing attire.

"It is called Mickey Cricket and we have launched it for the first time in association with Mumbai Indians. So it is a co-branded product. It is a licensing agreement but since it is a co-branded one, we have a revenue sharing agreement.
It is an equal partnership that we have with Mumbai Indians," The Walt Disney Company India Vice President Consumer Products and Retail Roshini Bakshi told PTI here.

"We want to get the fans to get the best of Mickey and obviously Sachin (Tendulkar), who is another superhero. So it is a great association," she said.

On the revenue expectation, Bakshi said, "It is about Rs 12-14 crore to start with, but it is a much longer association. It will contribute a very small per cent to our revenues."

According to media reports, last year Mumbai Indians recorded a retail revenue of Rs 5-6 crore and the owners hope to double this figure in the fifth edition of the IPL.

The merchandise includes T-shirts, bats, balls, caps, gloves, bags, mugs and stickers and will be available for two months, during the IPL season 5 and is aimed at the age bracket of 4-14, especially boys.

The market size in licensing in the 4-14 age group is estimated to be Rs 1,400 crore. "We have a number of licensing partners who have come on board and primarily we have focused on cricket attire and accessories that go around it. It is focused for boys, but we would love to pick it up for girls as well. So we have developed in a way that both the girls and the boys can enjoy," she said.

On the deal with last year`s runners up in IPL and the Champions League winners, Bakshi said, it is not limited to the Mumbai franchise. "The deal is initially for a year and we both are very happy, so we hope it continues. It is a start for us with Mumbai Indians, but it is not exclusive," she said.

The co-branded products will be available predominantly in the western part of the country that houses a large Mumbai Indians fan base. "We have primarily focused on the west to launch these products, but they would also be available in the rest of the country. Most Mumbai Indians fans are in the west. In the rest of the country, we have kept it to fewer cities, because we know that with IPL there is a strong association on a city and regional basis. We have an e-commerce site, where people can buy it online," she said adding that 70 stores in Mumbai and Pune alone will retail these Mumbai Indian merchandise.

The price range for the Mickey Cricket merchandise vary from Rs 50-Rs 2,000.

On Disney`s journey in the country, she said, "We started merchandising in this country since 2006 and every year we have had high double-digit growth. We have grown 10 times in the last six years." She further said that the company has witnessed bigger growth in tier II, tier III cities than the tier I cities.

The company has over 130 partners in the country, including Cadbury`s, Nerolac, GlaxoSmithKline, Hindustan Unilever. It has also tied up with global footwear brand Reebok for the comic book superheroes Avengers merchandise.