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Sunday, 30 October 2011

F1 India- themed merchandise catches fancy of frenzied fans

NOIDA: F1-themed merchandise, ranging from t-shirts to caps, has become the latest fashion trend in the city and a constant stream of shoppers has been crowding various shops to buy the memorabilia. Interestingly, the entrepreneurs who had profited heavily from the sale of Anna Hazare merchandise are even looking to capitalize on the F1 craze. However, retailers say that they will be treading cautiously as they don't want to repeat their mistakes committed during the Commonwealth Games in Delhi .

Online retailers like have launched a new range of F1 tees in preparation of the Formula 1  Airtel Indian Grand Prix . "This is a new dawn for Indian sports as the much celebrated F1 makes a foray in India. As all fans gear up to enjoy the first such event in the country, we have received quite a few requests for t-shirts around this sport," said Kashyap Dalal, CEO, The company had previously launched a series of anti-corruption tees in support of Anna Hazare's crusade.

"We earlier sold Anna t-shirts during his campaign. We were designing the t-shirts ourselves. With F1 around the corner, we decided to capitalize on it and sell F1 t-shirts, mugs, jackets, sweatshirts and wristbands," said Shailender Rana of Impulse Marketeers, East of Kailash.

Retailers, Happily Unmarried, have launched a series of special stickers that say "What's the F1" while Party Hunterz has introduced chequered flags (for Rs 100) and balloons (for Rs 25) for F1 fans to carry to the tracks. Toy shops in the city said that sales of toy cars, especially replicas of F1 cars, have increased exponentially. "Children of all ages are coming in to buy race cars. Ferrari cars, in their brilliant red, are the most popular," said Santosh Singh, manager, Fun N Play, a toy store in Noida .

Party organizers and shops that sell themed party goodies have prepared themselves for an onslaught of customers. "Most of the official merchandise during CWG was sold only a few days before the event and we expect the same for the F1 as well. Currently, we have Ferrari model cars for sale," said Rajiv Mehra, the owner of the Party Shop in Khan Market.

Mercedes-Benz, the official automobile partners of the event, have a range of jerseys, caps and jackets available for customers on their website. Anticipating an increase in demand for F1 merchandise; caps signed by racers, t-shirts celebrating momentous victories, sweatshirts and even trainers are already available for F1 fans. "My earlier experience in China and Southeast Asia shows that once sports like F1 feature in, consumer interest also increases significantly," said Peter Honegg, CEO, Mercedes-Benz India.


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