How many of you had actually once believed MRF was a bat manufacturing company?
For a sec, just visualise that elegant straight drive from Sachin Tendulkar. Wah, damn!!!
I could happily picture many of his classic knocks with that MRF branded willow.
MRF, originally a tyre manufacturer, had carefully nurtured & grown its brand right from its inception.
Their association with Sports started in the late 80s through the MRF Pace Foundation, the same place where Australian Great, Denis Lillee, advised the then young Sachin to focus on his batting instead of bowling.
Gee, did he knew Sachin would go on to become the legend of the game!!
Cricket Bat Sponsorship was a fresh & daring marketing strategy in the 90s that was used to improve visibility & brand recognition & was taken up by MRF & Britannia (Rahul Dravid) very cautiously.
And it paid off hugely for them, since it rightly targeted our newfound love for watching Cricket on TV back then.
Interestingly, even now, MRF is the most expensive stock in India, even though that can be credited to not splitting its shares.
For 13 long years, Sachin sported the ‘MRF-Genius’ logo on his bat & there’s hardly any doubt that they got the most out of the “Brand Sachin Tendulkar”, as their sales & market value surged all those years.
When celebrities endorse a product, they transfer some of their own personal values onto it.
Here, MRF’s image of producing tough, reliable & high endurance tyres increased multifold by sponsoring great players like Sachin, Lara, Kohli, Steve Waugh etc.
Brands should focus on the kind of image they want to build in the consumer’s mind, focus on the emotions that you want to emote in their audience.
Advertising can work wonders if used in an unique way & that’s what MRF did.
What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments section below.