‘A sporting milestone for India’

“We are highly motivated to promote football across the country and to inspire a new generation of youngsters,” says Rakesh Kumar Bhatia, General Manager, Bank of Baroda (Marketing, Corporate Communications and WMS).

Bank of Baroda’s Rakesh Kumar Bhatia with FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

The hosting of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup gives India the chance to rub shoulders with the best in this age-group tournament. The growing sense of anticipation surrounding the event has also attracted the Indian corporates. Bank of Baroda, in December, 2016, became the first national sponsor of the tournament.

“This is the first time a FIFA event is happening in India and football is the world’s most popular game. So, when the opportunity came for us to get associated with the U-17 World Cup we had no second thoughts. This event is going to be a historic one for the country. This is also a great opportunity for the Bank to connect with the young generation,” says Rakesh Kumar Bhatia, General Manager, BoB (Marketing, Corporate Communications and WMS). “We also felt that the association with FIFA would be a strong reinforcement of our tagline India’s International Bank.”

Echoing the sentiments, P. S. Jayakumar, CEO and MD, BoB, adds: “We are delighted to be a national supporter of FIFA U-17 World Cup, which is a sporting milestone for India and will host players from across the globe and their millions of fans.”


Talking about the promotional activities organised by them so far, Jayakumar says: “Various activities were planned to create a euphoria. We have partnered the Local Organising Committee with the logo, mascot, ticket sale launch and also the official draw ceremony. We also had digital initiatives like #Futuresbright, #JuggleLikeAChamp. We will like to reach at least one million children by the end of October.”

The #JuggleLikeAChamp campaign, which was started by former India captain Baichung Bhutia, has turned viral with many celebrities like P. V. Sindhu, Sonu Sood, Bala Devi, Smriti Mandhana and Renedy Singh participating. It is an initiative where people from all walks of life can come forward and show their support to Team India by juggling a football and then post the video on social media, challenging their friends to follow suit. “The idea of the #JuggleLikeAChamp was born out of the need to create a viral activity that is powerful enough to engage people while also telling them to stand up for our national team and motivate them,” Bhatia says.

Spelling out their expectation from the World Cup, Bhatia, adds: “We are highly motivated to promote football across the country and to inspire a new generation of youngsters. Partnering with FIFA U-17 World Cup was a logical choice for us. It is truly an Indian crusade to make sure that this tournament succeeds and engages our complete population. We are sure that our strong banking network across the nation will help to make that happen.”

To encourage participation BoB is running competitions on its social media handles and kids opening accounts with the bank will also stand a chance to win match tickets.

Select branches in host cities are also getting a makeover, giving them a World Cup look and feel.

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