Indian multinational Balkrishna Industries Ltd. (BKT) has become the first sub-continent group to partner with the KFC Big Bash League (BBL), signing on today for three years as the new Off-Highway tyre supplier.
BKT tyres have been available in Australia through its Australian distributor Tradefaire for almost a decade, providing large-scale tyres to our farmers and in the mining sector.
As part of today’s BBL announcement, BKT and Tradefaire handed over cheques totaling $30,000 to provide support to the Australian charities, particularly the struggling farming community. A $20,000 cheque was given to Aussie Helpers, a charity based in Gunnedah in New South Wales which assists struggling farmers, and $10,000 to Ronald McDonald House in Tamworth.
Today’s partnership announcement was held at the home of Australian cricket, the MCG, and attended by Australian cricket great Ricky Ponting, executives from BKT in India including its Joint Managing Director Rajiv Poddar, Cricket Australia Head of Big Bash Leagues, Kim McConnie and Mr Hari Parsad, India’s Acting Counsel General in Melbourne.
The event was hosted by high-profile Indian actress, fashion designer and television presenter Mandira Bedi.
BKT’s decision to partner with the BBL was motivated by the group’s passion and enthusiasm for cricket, and the BBL’s alignment to BKT’s “Growing Together” philosophy. In this specific case, growing together means to support and sustain cricket in Australia in order to see talent grow and attract attention for the competition on an international level – not least of all thanks to BKT’s presence in 160 countries globally.
Mr Rajiv Poddar, an ardent cricket fan, said: “I am really glad about this partnership since cricket has been my great passion ever. Being able to support it and cheer at a close makes us proud. Not only do we appreciate its dynamics, but also the team play and above all the spirit of the game ruling this sport, or else the unwritten fair play every player adheres to. On the contrary, unfair play means a damage for the game itself. Here in BKT, we have the same philosophy: to do our best paying full respect to everybody.”
Ms Kim McConnie said: ”We are very excited to be welcoming BKT as a partner of the KFC Big Bash League as we draw closer to the highly anticipated BBL|08 season. BKT’s decision to come on board as a supplier of the BBL shows the growing appeal of the competition not just in Australia but overseas as well, and also demonstrates the value partners see in being associated with Australia’s most exciting sporting league.”
Steve Ryan, the General Manager of Tradefaire, said: “This agreement is invaluable and unprecedented. Australia’s passion for cricket is timeless. During summer all parks become crowded with children and teenagers playing cricket whilst enthusiastic parents keep up with the game from the sidelines.
The family barbecue at weekends cannot be considered complete without the cricket match on lawn in the back garden or beach cricket on a sunny day on the beach. Whether it is in the farthest outback or in the big cities, all Australians have one great passion in common, namely cricket. A topic that inspires and thrills an entire nation.
Indeed, one can listen and follow long and lively discussions on match days. Standing by the KFC Big Bash League, being associated to both its name and activities as well as benefitting from the high level of media attention especially on TV will certainly make the brand awareness of BKT in Australia fly high”.
BKT’s BBL partnership builds on its sponsorship of international sports worldwide. This includes an agreement it signed in 2013 with the Monster Jam circuit, the American live motorsport event with giant trucks performing stunts equipped with BKT tyres, as well as the recent sponsorship agreement with the Lega Nazionale Professionisti B, the governing body of the B football series in Italy, for the second division championship which is now called “Serie BKT” and la Ligue de Football Professionnel, the governing body of Professional French football, for the Ligue’s National Cup which is now called Coupe de la Ligue BKT.
The agreement between BKT and Cricket Australia bears the signature of Havas Sports & Entertainment (Havas SE), a specialist team of Havas Media Group, which operates actively within sport and entertainment industries to implement effective marketing strategies with the aim of creating meaningful relations among brands and fan communities. The Italian team of Havas SE is the global advisor of BKT for the selection, negotiation and activation of sports sponsorship.