City restaurants set to uncork Cup fizz

  • Bars and restaurants in Kathmandu are ready with their World Cup menus and offersto attract football fans to watch the action live on television, writes Sudeep Sonawane
- Sudeep Sonawane, KATHMANDU

Jun 14, 2018-

Major international sports events such as the Summer and Winter Olympics, football, cricket, hockey and rugby world cups, athletics, Formula 1, and tennis Grand Slams bring happy times to all.

Top sports events bring success, fame, adulation and wealth to most stakeholders. Players, coaches, commentators, sports associations and officials who conduct the events, host country, banks, insurance firms, lawyers, medical professionals, sports apparel, shoes, equipment, stadiums, infrastructure manufacturers, construction companies, merchandisers, wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs, food industry, entertainment, hotels, tourism, ticketing, travel, transport, performing artistes, print and electronic media and, last, but not the least, the fans who pay to watch, all benefit. Modern sport is all about everybody wins formula. The only losers are individual players and teams who lose their matches. Even losers get their moment of glory these days.

Sport is indeed a big business. It has exponentially grown at all levels—from competitions, contestants, records, organisers, spectators to profitability—since the Olympics movement resumed in 1896 with Kodak as sponsors.

Sports analysts consider American executive Peter Ueberroth, a business savvy administrator as the pioneer of commercialising the Olympics. Under his marketing acumen, the 1984 Summer Olympics, hosted by Los Angeles, generated a surplus of $225 million. The profitability of these Games was an unprecedented amount at the time. This edition of the Games was milestone in the history of Olympics. Sponsors and cash have flowed in torrents since then.

Entrepreneurs, merchandisers, retailers and restaurateurs worldwide expanded Ueberroth’s marketing strategies much higher levels. Business community from countries with no football heritage have jumped on to the gravy train and laughing their ways to the bank.

Kathmandu’s multi-national brands and business fraternity, particularly from the hospitality and tourism sectors, are not far behind in pushing marketing ideas to reap profits from such mega sports events.

A day before the first match, Coca-Cola Nepal basks in the success of its biggest consumer promotion—‘Coke Khaam, Russia Jaam’. The beverage company offered 40 lucky consumers the chance of winning an all-expenses-paid trip to watch the World Cup live in Russia.

More than 10,000 consumers have won Fifa World Cup merchandise items like: speakers, headphones, pen drives and 18 consumers have each won a 24-inch LED TV during the entire campaign.

Coca-Cola Nepal Country Director Ambuj Singh said, “We are happy to launch a campaign this big in the history of Coca-Cola consumer promotion. We had high engagement throughout the campaign and we are happy for our consumers’ support. This gives us further encouragement to organise such campaigns in the future. We are grateful towards all our consumers for making this campaign an exceptional hit.”

Executives from Kathmandu’s leading hotels back such global sports events.

Summit Hotel Resident Manager Kaushal K Singh said, “Football is the world’s most popular sport, especially Fifa World Cup. Unfortunately, teams from South Asia do not figure in the World Cup. So many Asians bask in reflected glory by supporting European or South American teams.

“Many enterprising restaurateurs monetise major sports events such as the football and cricket world cups. Many bars and fine-dining restaurant owners set up large screen LCD televisions and screen matches and welcome guests to watch the action live while enjoying food and drinks with friends and family.”

Restaurateurs in Durbar Marg, Thamel, Tahachal, Paknajol, Sanepa, Jamshikhel, and Jawalakhel are competing with marketing offers to attract diners.

Summit Hotel Executive Assistant Manager Food & Beverage Dr Sanjay Jamwal said, “We have planned events on the first day, semi-finals and final to entertain our guests during the World Cup.”

We are joining in the World Cup fever by competing in the Inter Hotel Futsal Tournament 2018, organised by Soaltee Crowne Plaza, said Dr Jamwal, who is also the manager of Summit Hotel’s futsal team led by Ravi Kapali.

Besides high-end hotels and restaurants, even middle range bars and restaurants are ready to jingle their cash boxes during the World Cup.

Lazimpat-based Trisara Restaurant management staff Kshitiz Lamichhane said, “We have installed two large screen projectors to show World Cup matches live to our guests. Our branches in Durbar Marg and Pokhara will also screen live matches. We will hold a lucky draw for all guests and the winner will receive complimentary tickets to visit the United Arab Emirates.”

Baluwatar-based Royal Empire Boutique Hotel Manager Anup Sharma said, “We will show the matches on large screen throughout the World Cup for the benefit of guests who are football fans. Our marketing strategy is offering one bottle of beer free if the guest buys two bottles. We have also planned drinks and food combo as special menu for the tournament.”

Football fans in Kathmandu are unlikely to miss such offers. Looks like several restaurateurs would be sprinting to their banks at the end of the month-long football extravaganza.

(With inputs from Anup Ojha)

Published: 14-06-2018 15:53

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