Shah Rukh Khan-promoted Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has tied up with soft drinks major Coca Cola for sponsorship during the coming IPL, days after the actor was dumped by rival beverage player PepsiCo as its brand ambassador.
“We are happy to announce that we have tied up with Coca Cola for (a) sponsorship deal for the IPL, which will include using the company`s logo as well as promoting their brand,” KKR Director Joy Bhattacharya told reporters.
He said the contract is especially for the IPL season and Coca Cola`s sparkling drink brand `Sprite` would be promoted as part of the campaign.
Bhattacharya, however, refused to share any more details regarding the deal, including size of the contract.
Coca Cola refused to comment on the development.
Coke`s deal with KKR comes on the heels of PepsiCo terminating its contract with Khan, who was the longest serving brand ambassador for the company.
PepsiCo had, however, said it is “currently in discussions with him to take the relationship to a new phase”.
Yesterday,Shahrukh told media,”Pepsi removed me”.
The plotline begins when PepsiCo dumped its decade-old brand ambassador Khan from its Youngistan campaign last week. Coca-Cola moved in, offering to sponsor KKR, which would have ensured that Khan and his team members — including Sourav Ganguly, also dropped by PepsiCo in 2008, and Ishant Sharma, an existing PepsiCo ambassador — are seen endorsing Coke products.
Coca-Cola, which is planning to push its Sprite brand of clear-lemon drink through KKR, is close to signing a two-year deal with the IPL team, people close to the matter told ET. However, on Tuesday, PepsiCo approached KKR with a counter offer, upping the stakes. ET has learnt that a letter of intent has been signed between Coca-Cola and KKR.
Both parties are meeting on Wednesday to take up the matter. Khan had publicly expressed his unhappiness about the way PepsiCo terminated his contract. As first reported by ET on February 13, PepsiCo had decided not to renew his contract.
Coca-Cola’s sponsorship deal includes merchandise branding rights — T-shirts, jerseys, helmets, caps — in-stadia branding rights on perimeters and dug-outs, aligning with the team as a beverage partner, serving Coca-Cola beverages in home stadiums, and below-the-line and above-the-line promotions by KKR team players. KKR team members and Khan may also feature in Coca-Cola advertising specific to IPL. Every IPL team gets to play seven matches in home stadiums.
Summer is peak season for beverage companies and Sprite, according to a recent study by AC Nielsen, had dislodged brand Pepsi as the country’s second-largest aerated beverage. Neither Coca-Cola nor Pepsi chose to comment on the developments.
PepsiCo has already closed a deal with India Cements-owned Chennai Super Kings and is still in talks with Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai Indians. In IPL’s season one, Coca-Cola had walked away with the cup as its exclusive on-air sponsor.
PepsiCo’s five-year, Rs 50-crore deal with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as the IPL’s pouring rights partner, on the other hand, had turned out to be a damp squib and was later called off.
Though financials of the expected deal could not be confirmed, it is learnt that the deal — KKR’s deal with one of the cola makers — will involve an upfront cash transaction and a brand activation component. This is Coca-Cola’s second sponsorship deal with an IPL team, Delhi Daredevils being the first. The beverage maker is also learnt to be in talks with Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia-owned Punjab Kings XI.
Did Shah Rukh Khan pay heed to numerologist Sanjay B Jumaani’s warnings? Or else, why did he feel compelled to remove the city name ‘Kolkata’ from his Knight Riders team’s logo?
There is certainly more to this, than what meets the eye, especially if the Knight Riders’ coach, John Buchanan’s shocking revelation that Ganguly could be replaced with in-form McCullum is to be taken seriously.
So did the Badshah of Bollywood do this to try and turn his spate of bad luck, considering the fact that Jumaani clearly sounded off his (correct) prophesies on the same? In the first year of IPL, Jumaani had gone on record to say that Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t add up well, but sans ‘Kolkata’, just ‘Knight Riders’ added up to an auspicious number, as it totaled to the number 1 of the powerful Sun. Explaining further, Jumaani maintained that Sourav, a # 8, was far from lucky for SRK, as even in the past, this number has not been too good for the Badshah.
Says Jumaani, “On November 2, SRK had entered his 44th year, and 4+4 = 8, represents Saturn (Shani). Unfortunately, as predicted, it didn’t auger well for SRK what with his shoulder injury keeping him out of action for months and his Billu not faring well too at the BO. “We had, in fact, earlier warned him not to release Asoka on the 26th. He did, and the film bombed,” recalls the numerologist.
According to Jumaani, his association with # 8, Sourav Ganguly (08/07) who captained Knight Riders, wasn’t too fruitful. “In fact, right at the beginning, we had warned that the colour black used for their team jersey wasn’t auspicious as it is also the hue of the same Saturn, # 8, and generally a colour of mourning in many communities. In fact, another team sporting the same colour that has never ever made it in the big league, is New Zealand. It has, on so many occasions, despite playing well, not managed to win a major tournament, leave alone the World Cup.”
Now that SRK’s team is using only Knight Riders in its logo, Jumaani says, “Our next suggestion to the team would be to also change the black colour of its outfits. And Sourav should wear jersey No 24 (that we had recommended earlier too), which did him a world of good in the World Cup as he scored three centuries then, being the only player in any World Cup, along with Mark Waugh, to achieve this honour.”
But, what went wrong with Sourav and his coach once again? Having just recovered from the Greg Chappel spat, he is up again in a face-off with someone from his own camp! Informs Jumaani, “Born on 08/07/1972, Sourav is governed by # 8, Saturn (Shani), # 2, Moon and # 7, Neptune, and his zodiac sign is Cancer. Two others who have captained India successfully have also been Cancerians. And they are Sunil Gavaskar (10/07) and Dhoni (07/07). Hence, coach John Buchanan’s claim that he is not a good captain does not hold water, at least as per numerology, and also not to forget the fact that Sourav has been one of India’s most successful captains.”
He goes on to say, “The combination of such numbers makes Cancerians quite creative and unconventional in their approach. However, like their symbol of the crab, which never walks consistently, such people are subject to sudden upheavals too. They are also quite moody in nature, as the Moon affects their mind, just as it causes high and low tides in the oceans. In Sourav’s case, Saturn (# 8) often makes him misunderstood, and hence politics is not his cup of tea. Controversies usually surround the number 8s. Being a ‘Water’ sign as he is a Cancerian, Sourav had great difficulties with Greg Chappel earlier, who is a ‘Fire’ sign, being a Leo (07/08). Fire and Water can hardly stay together; no wonder then that John Buchanan is a Fire sign too, like all Arians (05/04/1953)! We know that Dada is currently in his 37th year and 3+7 = 1, of the Sun, and it is amongst his best numbers. Lakhs of people worship the mighty Sun. Sourav’s decision to retire gracefully from the Indian team had been timed well, in this sense. In fact, Dhoni won the best player internationally for ICC now when he’s in his 28th year, and 28=1.”