Qatar Airways has been officially named the main principal partner by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Sunday. Rajesh Menon, Vice President & Head of RCB, announced it last night at the RCB Unbox event at Chinnaswamy stadium. Muthoot Fincorp sponsored RCB for three years.
RCB has also taken a giant step forward in merging sports and lifestyle with the introduction of RCB Innovation Lab.
It aims to generate insight, ideas, methodologies and products that shape the future of sports in India. At the core of this aim is an aspiration to develop adaptable people and leaders, capable of driving performance improvement and excellence on and off the field.
RCB innovation Lab is based on two principles, to bring sports innovation to as many people and to collaborate with innovative organisations.
RCB in association with the LEADERS, organiser of the most prestigious global sports communities through events, communities and intelligence will connect the most influential people in sports to the most powerful ideas in Sports, thereby bring the global sports leaders together in India for the first time and discuss and drive the future of sports in South East Asia.
Through this initiative they plan to break boundaries; create a platform where sports, business, tech, media and performance meet. They share ambitious plans to propel growth in the regional and international sports market, both on and off the field.
They will host the biggest names in sports and media together in a single platform from over 15+ countries over an exploratory two-day meet, checking how to tap an ever-growing, vibrant Indian sports market on and off the field.
Besides, RCB will provide an unmatched opportunity to close to 750 senior executives and participating brands with a unique opportunity to share their brand story with the key regional and international leaders in sport.
However, one of the biggest features of the RCB Innovation Lab is venturing into Sports Ed Tech, Research & Development for performance enhancement and the setting up of startup accelerator programmes with leading sports & health tech accelerators.
RCB will also establish an AI backed cricket coaching and talent ID platform, helping to identify and develop RCB stars of the future.
Rajesh Menon, Head & Vice President of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said, “RCB has this highly engaging fan base across the globe, and it has been numbered around 30 million. In 2022, we had touched a TV reach of 262.6 million, highest among all the IPL teams. As RCB is returning to their home turf after a gap of 3 years, we want to make it memorable in more ways than one. We want to break down the international barriers and showcase India as a thriving market. With the RCB Innovation Lab, it will be an attempt to take Sports Tech to next level in India. We, as one of the most popular sports teams in India, want to contribute and create meaningful footprints in sports in India which just do not confine to the playing arena alone and we believe if sports has to grow, then all aspects of the sports has to grow as well and we are on that journey with this vision.
RCB aspires to give its fans a purpose and meaning with Go Green initiative to utilise the connect and community of fans to be part of a larger movement that benefits society at large.”
Mo Bobat, Performance Consultant of RCB, said, “In addition to the many exciting innovations RCB has been known for on the field, it’s great to be able launch the RCB Innovation Lab. Cricket, and sport more generally, is evolving at such a pace and RCB wants to play a leading role in shaping what sports organisations and leaders do to achieve success, on and off the field.”
Leaders’ Managing Director, Laura McQueen, commented “India is an exciting and thriving market with endless opportunity. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the team at RCB to bring Leaders to India to be part of the innovation happening here and showcase this to global sports business and performance executives around the world.”
RCB in the journey of green movement
RCB started the journey of green initiative with the first ever “green game” in 2011. Joined WWF India as the face of Namma Bengaluru for Earth Hour in 2012 and officially declared Carbon Neutrality through fan driven initiatives and not the purchase of carbon credits. RCB became the World’s first Carbon Neutral Cricket Team in 2013. From 2014 to 2019, fan engagement recorded the green pledges, installation of 1422 solar panels in RCB’s home ground – M Chinnaswamy stadium, with an overall capacity of 400KW, establishment of waste management centre for sustainable waste disposal of wet and dry waste in the stadium where ~8 tones waste was segregated per match.
RCB is now moving forward in this green movement with a holistic approach to carbon neutrality. RCB aims to make Chinnaswamy, a green stadium, rejuvenate the Lakes and create a network of green schools across Bengaluru to encourage green initiates and sustainable living for future. RCB also aims to continue creating pet friendly stands, an initiative undertaken in 2019.
RCB has entered an alliance with Goodera, the world’s leading volunteering platform, to drive Go Green initiatives. Go Green initiatives includes Green Lakes, Green Schools, Green Stadium, and Green Army.
As a first step, RCB will be restoring 2 lakes in South Bengaluru covering 44 acres that affects the nearby area with floods and if rejuvenated will impact the connected lakes and land, to make it more liveable and sustainable. As with any other venture of RCB, the fan engagement is central to this mission as well. We intend to transform Go Green Initiative into a movement by fan engagement with a purpose.
The RCB will also transform nearly 200 educational institutions in Bengaluru into green schools and earning a special green certificate will work as a source of motivation for them.
“At Goodera, we strongly believe in the power of community engagement in driving sustainable impact. RCB’s unique fan driven model of carbon neutrality is inspirational. RCB has enabled sustainability for the people, of the people, and by the people. Goodera is proud to partner with RCB since 2011 on the Go Green initiatives inspiring millions of passionate RCB fans to bring small changes in their daily life for planet earth. said Abhishek Humbad, Founder and CEO of Goodera, the world’s leading volunteering platform and RCB’s sustainability impact partner.”
Fans throng for RCB Unbox
RCB returned to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium after a gap of three years in the most remarkable of ways — the cracking RCB Unbox 2.0 for the fans. It is a celebration of the 12th man army, the loyal fan base of the RCB who could not experience a game day at the stadium for the past three years.
The fans were allowed to watch the full squad practice of RCB, a first of its kind initiative in the T20, accompanied by RCB brand launches and the fans also witnessed the coming back of two cricketers who are now part of the RCB folklore — Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers. They were inducted into RCB Hall Of Fame and as a mark of respect, the RCB retired the jerseys of AB (17) and Chris Gayle (333) forever from its roster.
“First of all, a big thanks to RCB for inducting me into the Hall Of Fame. I have so many fun memories of playing at the Chinnaswamy Stadium for the RCB. It feels like
homecoming for me and it was a delight for me to reconnect with the team, the players and above all the fans. The RCB, RCB chant will always stay with me,” said Chris Gayle.
“It is a massively touching gesture by RCB to induct me into the Hall Of Fame and it has a very special place in my heart. I have missed the atmosphere at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, and it was enthralling for me to relieve all those experiences once more during the RCB Unbox,” said AB De Villiers.
The stadium was packed to the rafters with live music beats by Sonu Nigam and Jason Derulo followed by the arrival of Virat Kohli, Faf Du Plessis, ABD and Chris Gayle were greeted with thundering cheers and the iconic chant — RCB, RCB.
“I am quite excited to welcome back fans to the stadium after 3 years. It was such an exhilarating experience to practice in front of some amazing fans as part of the RCB Unbox. It was also thrilling to welcome back AB and Chris for their special day, and it was awesome to feel the energy,” said RCB captain Faf du Plessis.