Interview with Abhishek Gupta: Marketing Head of Indian Olympic contingent's principal sponsor Edelweiss Group
The Edelweiss Group was announced as the principal sponsor of the Indian contingent at the Rio Olympic Games. The sponsors have started their support for the athletes of the contingent through a video that has been produced to motivate the nation. You can check out the video below:
Sportskeeda sat down with Abhishek Gupta, Marketing Head of India’s principal sponsors, Edelweiss Group, for a short interview on the company’s motives behind producing the video and the campaign “#iAmTeamIndia”:
Question: Firstly, what was Edelweiss’ ambition to run this campaign and stand behind the athletes?
Answer: Saina Nehwal was shooting with us for our brand campaign after she was announced as our brand ambassador in October last year. She got us talking about this initiative where she told us that the sacrifices of the team are always greater than the sacrifices she has made for her achivements. We are the principal sponsors of the Indian Olympic team, so we decided to make this film. The film looks to nurture support and is Saina’s message to the country: #NothingMeansAnything and it’s only about the team in sports.
The Olympic contingent needs support and protection. Each member of the team has sacrificed a lot to get to where they are. We have protected the team with the life insurance cover of Rs 1 crore. This campaign is for garnering support and that’s what Saina and we are calling out for.
Question: What was the reason for choosing Ram Subramanian as the director of ‘Nothing Means Anything’?
Answer: Ram runs his own social media page by the name “Voice of Ram”, where he talks about socially relevant issues. Therefore we chose him as the director of our brand film and the entire idea about the campaign was born on the sets of the film. This campaign has been developed with lot of inputs from him as well.
Question: Why does Edelweiss think every existing sports and sportsman should be given importance?
Answer: We at Edelweiss have been associated with sport in the country since 2009. We have held initiatives like the Olympic Gold Quest and the likes in the past. We supported Mary Kom three years before she got her medal in 2012. We are a diversified financial services company and we believe that sports should also be diversified and the importance should not be restricted to only one sport.
After getting Saina to sign for us, we went further and approached the Indian Olympic Organisation to sponsor the Indian Olympic team. Our founder Rashesh Shah is an avid marathoner. Edelweiss Group has always been a sports evangelist and has had a long standing association with sports. Supporting the Indian Team at this critical juncture is a compelling and winning proposition for both Edelweiss Group and Team India.
Question: Why did Edelweiss choose Saina Nehwal to spread the message on behalf of other athletes?
Answer: As I said, Saina was shooting with us for our brand campaign. She briefly told us that when she looks at her achievements, and then looks at the sacrifices the rest of the team has made, the former fall short. The film looks to nurture support and is Saina’s message to the country: #NothingMeansAnything and it’s only about the team in sports. Hence when we decided to shoot the video, Saina was a natural choice.
Question: Can we expect Edelweiss to run more such powerful campaigns in the near future?
Answer: The video is currently only running on digital platform, but the encouraging response has encouraged us to shift the campaign offline. Television might not be an option, but we are looking at Below The Line (includes direct email, brochures, etc) options. The next leg of the campaign could see more Indian Olympians coming out to urge the support of the nation.
Question: What is the message you want to give to our readers? What kind of support do you expect from them?
Answer: There is immense potential in our country. We feel that given the right impetus, right training facilities, equipment, more active support from the government, there is a lot that the Indian athletes can achieve. That will get the brands to follow and support sports. We would want people to share the video to support the team.
Question: As a part of #iAmTeamIndia, what are your expectations from the people of India?
Answer: Our Olympians are our heroes and they have sacrificed a lot to reach where they are today. All they want is our support and to show your support we are asking our fellow Indians to take a picture of themselves with a placard saying #iAmTeamIndia and upload it on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #iAmTeamIndia. We will ensure that this support reaches our Olympics team.
Edelweiss have taken a step in the right direction by supporting the Indian Olympic dream. The fact that India are sending their largest ever Olympic contingent to the Rio Olympics is enough for all the people of the nation to get behind their sportspersons at this crunch time.