SPONSORSHIPS BEAR VITAL IMPORTANCE IN PROMOTING SPORTS
The future of sports in Pakistan looks brighter than ever
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Dec 19 - 25, 2005
Star based advertising and sponsorship to sport activities and sports events by leading corporate entities has really played a vital role in promoting sports in Pakistan as like elsewhere in the world. The sponsorship of major events not only justify the economics of the huge funding by earning a household name to the sponsors but also helps carve a respectable place in the consumer market.
English Biscuit Manufacturers (Pvt.) Ltd (EBM) is one of the prestigious corporate entities which has contributed significantly towards the growth of a variety of sports in Pakistan for the last many decades.
Khawar Butt, the dynamic Managing Director of English Biscuits, who despite in his 70's looks like a young sportsman and truly speaking puts a lot of energy, time and efforts besides funds for the noble cause of sports promotion indicating the real sportsman spirit in his personality. He is imbued with a desire and passion to support national sports and health platforms. His incessant zeal to promote sports causes has set an example, which seems unparallel for the corporate sector to emulate.
EBM has led in social and public causes including sports-indoors or outdoors - as a good corporate entity. The purpose and objective has always been to nurture the youth in seeking the universal value "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind". A classic example of which is sponsorship and organization of EEBEE CRICKET for schoolchildren between the age of 6 to 10 years at Karachi in early 90s. About forty schools participated in the event out of which 50 percent were English Speaking Convent Schools.
The idea was to mix the children from less favored households with the children from elite households. The objective being to liberate the less favored children from any kind of complex and let them breathe in freedom of being equals.
In the public sector, EBM CAUSE WAY, linking the Korangi Industrial Area with Shahra-e-Faisal, saving almost 15 miles of travel, time and crores of rupees by way of fuel conservation besides wear and tear of vehicles plying between Karachi city and Korangi Industrial Area.
Another history creating event that EBM sponsored in late 70s was the Indus River Expedition. The history of this event is that in 1876 as recorded in the Gazetteer of Sindh, three British commissioned officers of the colonial British army traversed by boat the River Indus from Punjnad to Karachi harbor. This event is recorded as "Conquest of Indus River".
In 1976 three youthful captains of Pakistan army approached EBM with a request to sponsor them to better the record of the British army officers. The Pakistan Army Officers started their journey not from Punjnad but from Attock and traversed the River Indus from its place of origin right up to Karachi harbor, thus bettering the record of British soldiers and their names lettered in gold in the Sindh Gazetteer.
Ever since its inception, EBM has made it an integral part of its corporate philosophy to support all causes that promote national health and sports. This legacy goes back to early years when EBM pioneered sports sponsorship in Pakistan by partnering in the first-ever live telecast via satellite of Mohammed Ali's boxing bouts in 1974, the world football cup (Munich-1973) and tennis final direct from Wimbledon.
Adding to its support for sports causes EBM was the first corporate entity to have sponsored cricket, hockey, tennis and golf in the early years of PTV when sponsorships were considered a taboo in marketing circles of Pakistan.
In continuation of this tradition of sports sponsorships, EBM sponsored a number of both domestic and international sports events in the recent past as well. The Sheraton Open Tennis Tournament, the Peek Freans Games at the Creek (DACC) and National Swimming Championships are but a few of the events that have been supported during the past years.
To add to its outstanding track record, EBM's sponsorship of the cricket World Cup 2003 has also been a significant contribution towards the game. In continuation of their efforts to promote sports, EBM also provides patronage to Pakistan Association of Blind (PBA) and recently sponsored the National Blind Cricket Tournament 2005.
EBM's role in promoting and sponsoring sports has not been confined to outdoor sports only. The company is well known for its regular sponsorship of sports tournaments like Scrabble, Snooker and Bridge. EBM first sponsored a b ridge tournament in 1979 and since then the Peek Freens Bridge Tournament has been a major feature on the annual sports calender.
The renowned Peek Freans Bridge team has been the leading team of the game in Pakistan that dominated the Pak Bridge world for over a decade and winning the Nationals more than once, including a hat trick. The team has represented EBM and Pakistan in several international Bridge championships and is acclaimed internationally for showing prolific performance.
Saadia Naveed, Director Operations (EBM), has also taken over the mantle from her illustrious father and in continuation of his undying efforts is now keeping alive the EBM's tradition of promoting and encouraging healthy sports activities amongst our youth, especially women folk of the country. A sports enthusiast, she has taken on herself to try and promote women in the field of sports not only for the uplift of the game but also with a view to ensure that their presence is encouraged, appreciated and recognized both nationally and internationally.
The sponsorship of the 6th National Women's Junior Age-Group Swimming Championship by EBM - the makers of the renowned Peek Freans brand - is one such proud endeavor of the company.
It was the turning point in the history of star based advertising and sponsorship of sports events in Pakistan when the famous Imran Khan was chosen as the star of Pepsi campaign. Pepsi became the first brand in Pakistan to begin star based marketing on a large scale. The choice of a new generation campaign featuring a celebrity (Imran Khan) became a milestone for advertising industry in Pakistan at that time.
Apart from this relationship, PepsiCo's affiliation with music too went from strength to strength from signing famous names like Junaid Jamshed, Awaz, Haroon, Strings and recently Ali Zafar. So it's been years to affiliation of PepsiCo with different musical sensations and celebrities and there is no looking back. From Imran Khan to today's "Cheeta bhi peeta hai", the relationship of PepsiCo and advertisements has been at a growing graph. Moreover, Pakistan is one of the few markets in the world that make their own advertising in relation to the PepsiCo's Pepsi brand.
Some of the campaigns formulated within Pakistan have been also been recognized internationally for their creativity and excellence, so it proves the worthy efforts of PepsiCo. Pepsi has been running aggressively throughout the years. With a dominant market share of 70%, PepsiCo Pakistan is one of the top ten markets for Pepsi internationally and as such commands great respect and weight within the PepsiCo system. The company is keen on innovating and views Pakistan as a market with immense growth prospects, both in soft drinks and non-carbonated beverages. Other Products: PepsiCo has an enviable portfolio of brands internationally with 16 of its brands contributing more than a billion dollars in sales individually. From soft drinks, snacks (Frito-Lay range) and juices (Tropicana) to sports drinks (Gatorade) and food products (Quaker), PepsiCo is a brand powerhouse that has a lot to offer to emerging markets like Pakistan. It has only scraped the surface with its current range of products in Pakistan and there is great room for new products and hence new business expansion. Certainly in future we'll witness some new trends that will revolutionaries the beverage industry. As an Industry Leader: As the established leader in the soft drinks category, PepsiCo is focused on growing per capita consumption in order to increase the overall pie.
Pakistan is still a very low per capita consumption market for soft drinks averaging only 25 drinks per annum per person. Therefore there is a lot of room to grow this figure as the lifestyles of masses change. The Future to come: PepsiCo foresees a growing trend of in-home consumption and combined with the fact that the overall economic outlook is very positive; soft drinks will become a part of everyday life. PepsiCo's aim is to bring its product within arm's length of availability and at a price that an average consumer in Pakistan can easily afford. For the people over the years, PepsiCo brands have been close to the consumers' hearts. With its advertising based on many platforms, PepsiCo has entertained the masses through numerous ways. Starting from concerts, cricket matches, and Basant festivals to the recently showcased Jashan-e-Faisalabad, PepsiCo has always been engaged in fun frolic activities to provide luxury and comfort to its consumers. It's been a trend worthy for the people which show the affection of PepsiCo towards its consumer base.
Pepsi in social welfare: Being a responsible corporate citizen, PepsiCo till this day have financed a number of social projects including Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, Citizens' Foundation, Child Protection Department, SOS Villages and many others. PepsiCo and social welfare goes hand in hand and will in future too for the betterment of society.
PepsiCo has been hailing its roots within Pakistan since a long time now and has captured the hearts of millions all over the country. Let's enjoy the joyous ride through its beacon history to this day.
The Mission: PepsiCo's mission is a clear and distinct one. It inhales a breath of fresh air for PepsiCo's smooth and efficient functioning. The mission foresees "to be at the cutting edge of marketing in Pakistan and to remain closest to the hearts of youth, who form the core target audience." With this mission PepsiCo promises to explore new grounds of success in the coming future as well.
Pepsi as a beverage: Under PepsiCo the brand Pepsi has flourished more than anyone else for its unique taste and desire. It forms the major core of business within PepsiCo, contributing more than 60% of its sales to the overall sales figure. So as a beverage Pepsi has immense value towards the growing graph of business within Pakistan.
Flavored Brands: Many flavored brands are operating under PepsiCo's banner in Pakistan. These are 7-up, Mountain Dew, Mirinda, Teem and the newly launched Aquafina. All have their own attires and uniqueness that finds them a place in the consumers' hearts. Aquafina has recently hit the market and has shown good impressions of consumers towards its consumption. It is a pure natural drinking water that will make a difference towards the uplift of society in the near future, as pure water is exceptionally precious for health. 7-up is a drink excellence that has come through ages with a unique vinegary taste of lemon and has captured a huge market of its own. Mountain Dew with altogether a different taste and tang have captured the enraged market trends with its new outlook and trendy advertisements. Teem and Mirinda have been all time favorites and hail to be famous beverages among the young generation for years. Advertising and PepsiCo: PepsiCo came from behind to gain market leadership in the 80's.
The trophy case is full. In fact it's overflowing, witness to a proud sporting legacy that has its roots in days even before the Independence of Pakistan. And overseeing this history of record bearers is Abdul Raqib, Director Sports, Habib Bank Limited.
Sitting in his second floor office, he doesn't have a majestic view of the I.I. Chundrigar Road as a number of his fellow officers have from their offices. But he doesn't need one; the glass enclosed trophy case donning the right wall of his office offers a peak at the vision of a bank, the feats of its visionary officers who set standards in a field that few thought should even exist.
From even before independence, Habib Bank Limited has had a legacy of innovativeness. It was this forward approach that led to HBL realizing the value of promoting sports in the country and the establishment of an HBL hockey team in 1969 and an HBL football team in 1974. Therefore, by the time an official directive came from the Pakistan government in 1975 for financial institutions to promote sports in the country, the bank was already miles ahead of the rest. A dedicated department, the HBL Sports Division was established and teams were instituted. The new teams were cricket, table tennis, basketball, and badminton and shooting ball. Apart from shooting ball, all the rest still exist today.
Though it wasn't the first team to be constituted, cricket today dominates the highs of the bank. Among the cricketing personalities that have donned HBL's as well as Pakistan's national colours, there include Javed Miandad, Mudassar Nazar, Abdul Qadir, Mohsin Hasan Khan. In the present outfit, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi and Danesh Kaneria also display their professional skills under HBL's banner. Recently the bank honoured Younis and Afridi by presenting them with a Toyota Corolla each, in recognition of their services to the national side.
Apart from fielding teams in the most popular sport in the country, the bank has also been actively sponsoring all related activities as well. In 1994, HBL organized a charity cricket match, in Lahore, at the request of the Pakistan Cricket Board. The match helped raise Rs4 million for the flood relief fund. Then, in 1987, HBL successfully managed the sale of tickets for the cricket World Cup.
In hockey, Habib Bank Limited has had a proud heritage since its inception in 1969. It has been the home of Sohail Abbas Hanif Khan, Shahid Ali Khan and the late Munawaruz Zaman. Of the current lot, the bank is home to Kashif Jawwad, Yasir Islam and Imran Khan. HBL was also the official sponsor of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, from 1990 to 2000, a three-year deal that was worth Rs50 million to the bank.
HBL's football team has also proved its mettle right from its inception in 1974, by winning countless Cups and Championships at the Provincial, Municipal and National levels. The Team played in the Asian Club Championship Qualifying Round at Colombo in 1986. It has held in its cadre, names like Mohammad Tarique and Musa Ghazi, and both ex-captains of the national team. No wonder the bank's team has won numerous laurels on the national level as well as representing Pakistan at the Asian club level.
Arif Nakhuda, Rubina Ashraf, Seema Kaleem, Sohail Hayat, Nazo Anwar and Seema Khan. These are names that have brought fame not only to Pakistan but also to the bank through their skills in the field of table tennis. Needless to say, the bank's trophy case is home to their famous feats.
Besides being home to a number of national players, the bank's team has also won the national championship thrice while it has reached the final no less than sixteen times.
Grooming of new talent is also part of HBL's commitment to sports in the country. To this end, the bank has organized talent hunt camps for the under-14 category at cricket, hockey and football levels.
By actively taking part in the country's sporting activities, the bank provides a base for the grooming and enhancing of the potentials of sportspersons in the country. Through organizing and sponsoring the bank seeks to positively contribute to the development of the social sector of the country. It also contributes to the development of the sporting infrastructure in the country. Like in 1989, when HBL was central to the cause of the SAF Games, to be held in Islamabad that year and was instrumental in the sale of the Saver Raffle tickets which went on for six months, successfully generating Rs580 million.
Thanks to organizations like Habib Bank limited, the future of sports in Pakistan looks brighter than ever.