ISL 2018-19: 5 Ways Bengaluru FC are Breathing Fresh Air into Indian Football
Two-time I-League winners (2013-14, 2015-16), two-time Federation Cup champions (2015, 2017), Super Cup holders and the ISL runners-up in their debut season - Bengaluru FC, ever since its inception, has never looked like a team which had to grow through a transition period to settle itself in the big league of Indian football.
With the presence of India stars like Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Udanta Singh and a great bunch of foreign talent like Miku, John Johnson, Alvaro Rubio to name a few, Bengaluru FC have managed to capture the imagination of the people of the city, with their style of play and successes over the years.
When Bengaluru FC was set up in 2013, owner Parth Jindal betted on the privatisation of footballing structure and taking ownership of the game in the country, and it came especially after the continuous failure of AIFF to break into the football markets in India.
As a result, Bengaluru aimed at a couple of things:
A) To conquer Asia on the pitch
B) To unite people under the BFC flag
Both tasks looked equally challenging and came with its own set of difficulties. However, the latter had no clear way of its execution and required significant effort to break through the Bengaluru crowd which had a significant inclination towards the European clubs.
Now, into their fifth year, Bengaluru have managed to not only walk through its set visions, but also bring in a fresh air of fan engagement with a number of initiatives and associations.
Here are five reasons which make Bengaluru FC the cool club of Indian Football:
#5 Smart Brand Acquisitions
At a critical juncture of the Indian Super League, when not only the clubs but also the league is finding it tough to add new sponsors, Bengaluru FC seem to ride on a totally different tangent altogether.
Starting from the shirt sponsor, they were acquired by one of the best-recognised brands in Puma, who also sponsor the likes of Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund. It’s also critical, as in this season of the league when Puma pulled out of the league’s official kit sponsorship, BFC’s ties with the kit manufacturer further strengthened.
BFC will also get credit on the fact that other teams in the ISL have had renowned sponsors like Adidas and Umbro in the past, but none could retain thus far. To be attached with a brand like Puma shows a matter of great credibility for the club and also the league on a whole.
Keeping Puma aside, BFC have also secured a partnership of KIA Motors this season along with other renowed brands like Nissin, Jockey, Wrogn, Cure Fit among others. Not to forget the support lended to the LGBT community, where the players displayed their flair by turning up for the matches in suits - a "first" in Indian football