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Controversies with IPL unfortunate but association intact, says Nooyi

Indra Nooyi in Delhi

Though the controversies with IPL are unfortunate, our association with the game is intact, says Nooyi

Indra Nooyi in DelhiNew Delhi: The controversies associated with IPL are ‘unfortunate’ but Pepsi will continue to be the title sponsor of T20 league, says PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.

“Now if IPL went through controversies, it’s unfortunate. Nobody likes any sport tainted at all because sport is supposed to be above all of it. But again it is being addressed,” Nooyi said.

Terming IPL as a ‘phenomenal marketing vehicle’, she said the company hopes that issues related with the tournament would be addressed.

“So our hope is that something wonderful as IPL is not impacted due to those issues and we hope it would get addressed,” Nooyi said.

Last year, PepsiCo had pipped telecom major Bharti Airtel to become the new title sponsor of the IPL with a winning bid of Rs 396.8 crore for the five seasons, starting 2013.

This year IPL was hit by spot fixing controversies involving two teams — Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings.

Last month Sahara-owned Pune Warriors was ousted by the BCCI as the promoter refused to furnish the requisite bank guarantee. The decision to terminate the team left the IPL an eight-team affair for the time being.

When asked if the company would continue to be associated with the tournament, Nooyi said: “I am going to look at the positives. We do not associate with the sport hoping that something goes wrong and we do not want anything to go wrong. We associate with IPL because we think cricket is like next to god in the country.”

Cricket is part of India’s fabric and it evokes the passions of people, it makes everybody feel young again, she added.

Highlighting the gains from association with IPL, she said it has helped the company build brand equity of its various products in the country.

“At this time IPL is a phenomenal marketing vehicle. It’s a great sport. It brings lots of people to the stadiums and association with the IPL has built brand equity of our brands phenomenally,” Nooyi said.

Yesterday, PepsiCo announced to invest Rs 33,000 crore in India till 2020. The beverages and snacks major sell various brands including Pepsi, Mirinda, Mountain Dew, Slice, Kurkure and Uncle Chipps.


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