Here is a not so very pleasant news. The rally champions - Red Rooster Racing have decided to pull out from Motorsports this season. Read on what they have to say:
Motorsports is not an inexpensive sport. At its most competitive, it needs sponsorship. As the fastest growing sport in India, given the fascination and unambiguous appeal it has for people of all ages and backgrounds, it is unfortunate that we have not been able to garner sponsors at levels significant enough to make the operation of building and running a team. In the last 10 months, we have spoken to many corporates - FMCG, Automotive, Telecom, Technology and more. From those who have a direct connect to motoring and motorsports to those who are already trying to leverage it in woefully inadequate ways. And even to the biggies who could be the first to differentiate in this market where distinctiveness is being sacrificed at the altar of the loud adspends in a highly cluttered single sport environment. How much louder can one afford to get without making a real difference to the life and business of a brand? The proof is all there. TV ratings are heading skywards. The Internet traffic from India to the top motorsports websites of the world is amongst the global top 3. F1 is here for economic reasons. Everyone wants to own a car, and then, to only own a more powerful car. All the famous sports cars have set up shop. The sport captures the imagination like no other, and imagery to that effect is being used flagrantly by all and sundry in brand communication. It is much more than a sport. We could go on. The big question, therefore, that begs an answer, is: why are corporates (those big brands with all their spiel about being different and wanting to stand out) so afraid of being the first clutter-breaking winner?
We asked ourselves that too and could not come up with an answer that sounded sensible. Till a few days ago, we had every hope that at least one smart corporate house will call us to leverage this powerful, unoccupied platform to their benefit in a way they never can again. Not one did. Hence this very painful but logical decision by Dinesh Reddy, our founder, N Leelakrishnan, our Chief Technical Director and 7-time INRC champion and our board of directors. We've spent almost 18 crores in the last 3 years, in building and running what are the best motorsports teams in India today. We have given wings to some of the best talent there is. Companies such as MRF can afford to continually invest in their teams, after all, the brand's entire marketing campaign and positioning has been built on motorsports for over a decade. With the high standards we have set ourselves in the engineering of the cars, team management, talent and development of the sport in itself, we have little choice but to pull out of motorsports - especially rallying. We will, however, continue to support some disciplines and talent in various ways. Our goal of pushing finely honed talent to the world stage remains an objective we hope to achieve someday.