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The Social Street and E-Factor Entertainment bag five-year contract for Kerala Tourism’s Champions’ Boat League

The agencies have been appointed for the branding, promotions, marketing and revenue generation activities following a multi-agency pitch

Kerala Tourism has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a consortium represented by E-Factor Entertainment and The Social Street (AMP Communications) for the branding, promotions, marketing and revenue generation activities of the Champions’ Boat League (CBL).

Following a multi-agency pitch, Kerala Tourism appointed the consortium as its official agency of record. The consortium will be responsible for all promotional activities of the league for the next five years starting 2019 until 2023.

The first-ever Champions’ Boat League has been modelled on the lines of a league format spanning three months starting August 10 with the Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alappuzha. Kerala Tourism has developed this new property with an aim to make the celebratory races a world-class experience for tourists and to create an international sporting atmosphere for participating clubs and their oarsmen.

Boat races in Kerala are among the oldest and most celebrated traditions that are still extensively followed in the state. It holds the distinct status of being the largest team sport in the world. The biggest attraction for any visitor is the beauty of watching 100-125 oarsmen working together in impeccable unison on gigantic 100-foot long wooden snake boats, complete with rhythmic chants and energetic drum beats, that bring alive the otherwise serene backwaters of the state. A typical race season in the state draws mammoth number of visitors ranging between 1.5 - 2 lakh local, national and international, who throng to the river banks to watch a single race.

The state witnesses its highest foreign tourist influx in the first quarter of the year with 35.99% of visits, followed by 29.5% in the last quarter. On the domestic front, tourist arrivals are highest in the fourth quarter constituting 30.08%, followed by second quarter constituting 24.39 %. Through the Champions’ Boat League, Kerala Tourism aims to bump up the tourism numbers during the boat race season to make Kerala a round-the-year tourist destination.

Rani George IAS, Secretary (Tourism), Government of Kerala, said, “The Champions’ Boat League has been conceptualised with a vision to transform our traditional boat races into a world-class sporting event. CBL aims to bring in long-term benefits to the athletes and boat clubs and usher in a new era in the sport.  The introduction of the league will add a new facet to our tourism offering and further strengthen the brand perception of Kerala as a land of diverse and authentic experiences.  We are happy to partner with E-Factor Entertainment and The Social Street to help take this vision forward.”

P Bala Kiran IAS, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, added, “Champions’ Boat League is designed to elevate the legacy of our traditional backwater boat races. As a part of our diverse tourism offering, audiences can experience the vigour and glory of the backwaters from a whole new perspective this year. We are excited to partner with E-Factor Entertainment and The Social Street who share an excellent understanding of our goals for CBL. They have displayed an in-depth experience in the sector of sports, tourism and big-ticket events, while also demonstrating commitment for a mutually beneficial long-term partnership with us.”

Samit Garg & Jai Thakore, Founders & Directors, E-Factor Entertainment, said, “We are thankful to Kerala Tourism for this extremely fantastic initiative and inviting external partners to build and promote this amazingly passionate & traditional sport form. Our experience of promoting and organising large format culture tourism festivals like the “Pushkar Fair”, “The Vizag City Festival”, “Winter Festival Mount Abu” etc. has given us tremendous amount of learnings on how to apply an immersive experiential approach without disturbing the traditional ethos of the event. We look forward to creating some fabulous tourism sporting events and experiences along with getaways and excursions as a part of this entire exercise.”

Mandeep Malhotra

Mandeep Malhotra, Founding Partner & CEO, The Social Street, added, “The Champions’ Boat League is a pioneering step by Kerala Tourism to elevate the traditional snake-boat races, boat clubs and professional oarsmen to world-class levels. With a steep history of over 400 years, CBL is going to be the perfect collaboration of culture and sports.

We were fortunate to find the best match in Samit, Jai and their brilliant team at E-Factor Entertainment to take on the challenge of the brand’s marketing and communication. Sports enthusiasts and travellers have exciting times to look forward to starting August 10, with a brand-new level of thrill in store.”

The CBL will start on August 10 with the prestigious Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alappuzha and end with the President’s Trophy Boat Race in Kollam on the State Formation Day (November 1). There will be 12 races during the intervening weekends which will kick-off at Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha, followed by competitions in the districts of Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Malappuram. The races will conclude with the President’s Trophy at Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam.

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