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IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore bets big on lifestyle, launches a digital fitness platform and NFTs

Royal Challengers Bangalore 2022

IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore bets big on lifestyle, launches a digital fitness platform and NFTs

RCB, RCB, RCB. The Church Street in Bengaluru was reverberating with this chant. Everywhere you looked, at the back entrance, in the parking lot, in front of the hip RCB Bar & Cafe, there were fans waiting to catch just one glimpse of their favourite IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore’s players.

Royal Challengers Bangalore lifestyle

Royal Challengers Bangalore team at the RCB Unbox event in Bengaluru on March 12. Photo by Riddhi Doshi

The occasion was the Bangalore cricket franchise’s much-awaited RCB Unbox event, announcing the IPL team’s new initiatives, its new captain, Faf du Plessis, taking over from Virat Kohli, and celebrating the team’s die-hard fans with a press event and open-to-public music concert and fashion show.

“Is it always like this, the crowds and the craze?” I asked a senior sports journalist. “All IPL events and press conferences see big crowds, but nothing beats this,” he said.

But this kind of frenzy is routine for Royal Challengers Bangalore, one of the world’s most popular sports teams with record social media engagements.

Cashing in on the vast fandom, The Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise, owned by United Spirits Limited, a Diageo Group company, one of the biggest producers of spirits and beer, is betting big on lifestyle offerings, a business vertical launched in 2019, with the opening of the RCB Bar & Cafe and an athleisure line with PUMA.

For the 2022 season of IPL, RCB will launch an online fitness platform, ready-to-drink mocktails, plant-based meat, another collection of athleisure line, and will enter the world of the metaverse.

“Our performance ambition is to be the best performing, most trusted and respected T20 franchise,” said Rajesh V Menon – Vice President & Head – Royal Challengers Bangalore. “Our endeavour is to make RCB a truly global lifestyle brand.”

Hustle by RCB is an online, on-demand fitness platform, where some fitness classes will also be conducted by the team’s players, and it will also offer personalised diet plans, fitness classes that will be led by Artificial Intelligence wherein the participants can interact with their trainers.

The stylish season 2 of RCB’s athleisure line is inspired by the northern lights.
The plant-based meats – burger patty, seekh kebab, nuggets –  gives all meat lovers wanting to go vegan a reason to rejoice.
What we are most excited about is RCB’s metaverse. Still, in its trial phase, the programme is a digital-first civilisation bound by cricket and cricket fandom, aimed at a more immersive experience of cricket and IPL. “The Royal Challenger Bangalore fan is at the centre of what we do. The game and our community are our focus points, and with these new initiatives we deepen our ‘Play bold’ philosophy and increase the engagement with the team’s fans,” said Menon.