labels: ub group, marketing - general
Kingfisher F1: Marketing, The Vijay Mallya waynews
03 September 2007

Since UB Group''s acquisition Scottish distiller Whyte & Mackay, a move which elevated the group to second place in the global spirits market, chairman Vijay Mallya has most definitely been looking to overtake something and ensure that he is the first to cross the line with the chequered flag.

Spyker Ferrari is most likely what it is. Mallya has decided to get himself a Formula One team, happily investing a cool €90 million over a weekend, and in the process, exponentially expanding marketing opportunities for his flagship brand, Kingfisher.

Mallya estimates that Spyker could pull in €25 million in television revenues next year, and plans to cut costs for the loss making endeavour by relocating some of the research capabilities to India. An Indian team, ideally with an Indian driver - is an almost sureshot route to unlocking untapped marketing potential in a country where half the 1.1 billion population is under the age of 25, a substantial chunk of which keenly follows F1.

TV ratings are set to skyrocket, with potentially every Indian kid tuning into F1, given their ownership in it as a country. If even half of the cricket mania is replicable here, Kingfisher is most definitely home and dry.

However, as Kingsher presently adorns Toyota''s team as part of a $5-million deal ending next year, it could be some time before Spyker wears the Kingfisher shade of red. In the interim, other UB group brands could possibly find themselves on the team.

As any flyer on Kingfisher airlines would testify, having viewed Vijay Mallya''s personal ''welcome aboard'' address on the aircraft''s in-flight entertainment system, Mallya is all about building brands. The F1 acquisition presented a value-creation opportunity that he possibly couldn''t pass up.

Undoubtedly, Indians can expect some style, flamboyance, and pizzazz from Mallya''s latest personal endeavour, and of course, can also be sure that he will most definitely make some money off it as well.

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Kingfisher F1: Marketing, The Vijay Mallya way