Invest in Indian Football – A Winning Proposition for Brands and Investors


The Indian Football community has been abuzz in recent times with fans from all over the country joining in to hype the Blue Tigers who are celebrating some remarkable achievements. With victories in the Tri-Nation Cup, Intercontinental Cup, and SAFF Championship, the team has displayed some extraordinary football and some brilliant individual performances.

The exceptional performance of Igor Stimac’s men has not only attracted large crowds to stadiums but has also lit the internet with a digital frenzy within the Indian football community. This increase in support for the Blue Tigers, accompanied by numerous positive changes implemented by the AIFF has pushed Indian Football to unprecedented heights. It finally feels like we are in capable hands and moving towards a brighter future.

As Indian football continues to grow each day, there has never been a better moment for brands and investors to join the bandwagon and accelerate the growth of football in our nation. Any investment made now would be akin to supporting a winning horse, as Indian football is on the brink of a major breakthrough. The impending explosion of Indian football promises fruitful rewards for those who have placed their trust and support behind it.

Indian Football

Indian Football’s Digital Renaissance

Indian Football was in dire need of captivating the attention of the nation’s youth and with them spending most of their time online, the internet emerged as the perfect avenue to tap into the vast potential of the Indian Football market. The growth of Indian Football in the digital world indicates a genuine interest and enthusiasm from fans all over the nation.

The Indian Football social media handles have experienced a remarkable surge over the past couple of months, owing to the events such as the Tri-Nation Cup, Inter Continental Cup, and the SAFF Championship, all of which comprised a jam-packed schedule for the Indian Team. On the 22nd of March, India kicked off a busy summer with their inaugural match of the Tri-Nation Cup against Myanmar. At that time, the Indian Football YouTube channel had 473K subscribers.

Fast forward to the 8th of July, just four days after the SAFF Championship final against Kuwait, and the channel experienced a remarkable surge in subscribers. The subscriber count skyrocketed to a staggering 772K, marking an astounding increase of approximately 300K subscribers or a 63.20% increase in only around three months. To put these numbers into perspective, let’s delve into the growth rate. In July 2022 last year, the channel had 296K subscribers, which means it witnessed a growth of 59.80% in one whole year which is lesser than what has been gained in the past three months alone.

Looking back to July 2021, the channel had a humble 105K subscribers. Over the course of two years, it has experienced an exceptional growth of 635.24%, reaching 772K subscribers in July 2023. Indian football witnessed a wave of support from people all over the country over the past few months, and the media team played a pivotal role in capturing the excitement.

Indian Football

During the Tri-Nation Cup, where India emerged as champions after playing just two matches, the content uploaded on Indian Football’s YouTube garnered an impressive 772.5K views. The support and engagement of fans across the country were evident in the remarkable viewership numbers as the Indian Football summer was only about to kick off.

Moving forward, the Inter-Continental Cup took center stage, featuring four intense games that culminated in India’s triumphant victory. The videos related to the tournament were viewed around four million times on the Indian Football channel. The Indian Super League channel also contributed to the hype, uploading content that garnered over one million views, adding to the digital success of the tournament.

As the summer progressed, the highly anticipated SAFF Championship unfolded, culminating in India’s glorious triumph over Kuwait in the final. The content associated with the SAFF tournament accumulated a remarkable 16.4M views on the Indian Football YouTube channel. Additionally, the streaming partner Fancode played a crucial role in delivering the championship to eager viewers. Their efforts resulted in more than 7.1M views on the content uploaded to their YouTube channel, further amplifying the reach and impact of the Indian Football team.

Furthermore, since the beginning of 2023, the Indian Football Instagram account has been experiencing a continuous surge in popularity. They are now gaining over 60K followers each month, a significant increase compared to the average of 20-30K followers gained every month in the previous year. The past month, especially during India’s impressive Inter Continental Cup and SAFF Championship campaigns, witnessed a remarkable growth as they amassed a staggering 540K new followers.

The Indian Football handle has effectively utilized the power of reels, which is currently one of the most influential types of media on Instagram. Since the start of the SAFF Championship, they have been regularly uploading engaging reels content that has attracted an incredible 95M views. The SAFF Championship final became the most searched topic in Google India with more than 1M searches on the day of the final. Furthermore, nine out of the top ten trends on Twitter that day where related to the Indian Football Team.

These impressive social media metrics stand as a powerful testament to the soaring popularity of Indian football. The increasing recognition and active engagement from people across the country has truly been impressive. With increased attention on Indian football, there couldn’t be a more opportune time to take the lead ahead of the rest and back the team with brands and investments.

Shifting paradigms and spectacular turnouts

Not only digitally, but fans have also flocked enthusiastically to the stadiums, demonstrating their unwavering support for the Indian team. The Kanteerava Stadium, which hosted five matches during the SAFF Championship, witnessed remarkable attendances of 23,000, 12,500, 10,000, 20,000, and a sold-out crowd of 26,000 for the final showdown against Kuwait.

Indian Football
The atmosphere at the Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru.

Previously, the team relished a packed stadium during the gripping final of the Intercontinental Cup at the Kalinga Stadium and impressive numbers during the group stage games as well. These attendance figures, which would have seemed unimaginable in the past, now reflect the new norm, as skipper Sunil Chhetri no longer needs to plead for the fans to fill the stadiums.

The growing interest in Indian football has kindled a passion for the team among fans, who now want to see their favorite stars live at the stadiums. With regards to the immense enthusiasm surrounding Indian team matches, it is crucial for our domestic brands to recognize the tremendous opportunity at hand and respond accordingly. It seems inappropriate for a SAFF Championship held in India to have Bangladesh’s Basundhara Toiletries as its title sponsor.

Unprecedented interest and a growing fan-base

In recent times, the Indian national team has witnessed a massive surge in its fan base, attracting a lot of new supporters. This growing interest in Indian Football has reached unprecedented levels, and it is the perfect time for potential investors to get on the hype train. People are interested in Indian Football, they’re actively consuming content, attending matches, and engaging in debates and discussions.

Indian Football

They are craving more action from the Indian Football team and are enthusiastically supporting and defending their favorite local clubs. Get on, or you’ll miss something truly special. Apart from a lot of brownie points from the lovely Blue Tiger fans, you are also investing in the future. A future that holds a lot of promise and will not disappoint. If there ever was a perfect time to back the dreams of a massive untapped fan-base, it has to be this one. By investing in Indian Football at this moment, brands and investors will become an important part of a story that is bound to succeed.

The next generation is here

When it comes to Indian football, one name shines brighter than the rest—Sunil Chhetri, the undoubted superstar. With his 39th birthday on the horizon, the question of who will succeed him as the starting number nine for the Indian Football Team remains unanswered. However, fret not, in regards to the next superstar of Indian Football for the national team boasts a lot of potential names, and the future is exciting.

Lallianzuala Chhangte, arguably one of the best players in India at present, has achieved superstar status at the Mumbai Football Arena, a reputation that extends throughout the entire nation. Anirudh Thapa, formerly the face of Chennaiyin FC, has now found a new home in Kolkata, where ardent Bagan fans eagerly anticipate his arrival, ready to idolize him. Mahesh Naorem, a standout talent, finds himself on the opposite side of the Kolkata rivalry, currently recognized as one of the premier wingers in India and undoubtedly the shining star of East Bengal.

Indian Football

Anwar Ali and Akash Mishra, both regarded as the future of India’s defense, have secured lucrative transfers to the biggest clubs in the country, solidifying their positions as key pillars in the national team’s back-line. Additionally, we have Sandesh Jhingan, and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the two stalwarts, who will undoubtedly take on the mantle of leadership in the national team when Chhetri decides to hang up his boots.

So, the stage is ready for new stars, and it won’t be long before they are adored all over the country, as much as like the cricketers are these days. If there ever was a time to get ahead of everyone else, this is it.

The Indian Super League, better than ever

The Indian Super League is thriving, and it could not get better than this. The upcoming season promises even more excitement as the league expands to twelve teams, with Punjab securing their promotion to the premier competition of Indian Football. Alongside the increase in teams, there is a potential improvement in officiating with the introduction of VAR Lite that aims to reduce refereeing errors.

As the ISL evolves, the stage is set for an unparalleled display of quality and talent, surpassing the heights witnessed in previous seasons. The return of iconic teams to their best like Juan Ferrando & RPSG-backed Mohun Bagan and Carles Cuadrat & Emami-backed East Bengal has reignited the allure of the Kolkata derby. Adding to the spectacle are renowned coaches who have made their mark in Indian football. Owen Coyle and Sergio Lobera, both highly successful in the past, make their return with Chennaiyin and Odisha, respectively, bringing their wealth of experience and tactical prowess to the league.

Indian Football

Des Buckingham, Ivan Vukomanovic, and Simon Grayson, three of last season’s standout managers, have retained their positions at Mumbai, Kerala, and Bengaluru. The transfer window also witnessed significant movements with Manolo Marquez, recognized as one of the best in the business in recent years, making a move to FC Goa earlier this summer, solidifying the Gaurs. Alongside these well-established names, the ISL also welcomes fresh and exciting names in the managerial world. Staikos Vergestis, Juan Benali, Scott Cooper, and Connor Nestor are the new additions to the league, bringing some unpredictability with them as well.

Adding to this, there where two teams that struggled in recent seasons, languishing near the bottom of the table with little signs of progress. However, this summer, a newfound determination has emerged. East Bengal has brought in Cuadrat as their new manager, and they are making notable moves in the transfer window, signaling a potential for an improved performance.

Indian Football

Likewise, Northeast United has shown an early awakening this season, appointing Mandar Tamhane as their new CEO. Their impressive activity in the transfer market so far suggests a promise of more competitiveness from the Highlanders this season. RoundGlass Punjab FC, the newcomers, are also not sitting idle. They have worked on some impressive domestic transfers and are also tying down their players who helped them get promoted to the league.

In summary, the upcoming Indian Super League season is going to be competitive and qualitatively exciting more than ever. With an influx of quality football, coupled with the increased fan-base that Indian Football has gained, the stage is set for an all-timer ISL season. A combination of top-notch football and an increased viewership, what more could one ask for? Now is the perfect time to invest and support the clubs and the Indian Super League.

The I-League’s Geographic Reach Widens

In a massive development for Indian Football, an announcement has been made recently regarding the expansion of the I-League. As part of this expansion, the addition of up to four new teams has been confirmed. Notably, Bunkerhill’s bid has also been accepted, although it remains to be seen whether they will proceed with establishing a fresh team, considering their existing affiliation with Mohammedan.

This expansion of the I-League marks a significant milestone, as it marks the emergence of teams from diverse regions of India onto the Indian Football landscape. Northeastern India will be well-represented by clubs such as Shillong Lajong, TRAU, Aizawl, and NEROCA. Adding to this, Real Kashmir will showcase the football scene in Kashmir, while Sreenidi Deccan, Rajasthan United, Gokulam Kerala, Churchill Brothers, and Mohammedan will represent Telangana, Rajasthan, Kerala, Goa, and Kolkata respectively.

Indian Football

Notably among the new clubs, Inter Kashi will feature from Uttar Pradesh, while Namdhari will represent Punjab. Furthermore, FC Bengaluru United from Bengaluru, and Concatenate AA who will play in Delhi will complete the set of new clubs in the league.

As teams from diverse regions across India vie for a place in the Indian Super League, the upcoming I-League season is anticipated to be filled with unprecedented excitement and competitiveness. This presents an ideal opportunity for businesses and brands to show their support for their hometown clubs and actively contribute to the growth of the Indian football industry.

Promising future, the Indian youth teams are shining

When the youth team of a nation thrives, it is a clear sign of an exciting future ahead. The Indian football team has demonstrated immense potential and promise across different youth levels recently, signaling a promising future for the football in India.

Last year, the Indian U17 team emerged victorious in the SAFF Championship, defeating opponents like Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal while scoring an impressive nine goals in four matches. In the U17 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, they continued their successful run by winning their first three group-stage games before encountering a hard-fought defeat against Saudi Arabia. Throughout the qualifiers, the young team exhibited their brilliance by netting 13 goals while conceding only three, ultimately securing qualification for the main tournament in Thailand.

Indian Football

Prior to the AFC U17 Asian Cup, the youth team participated in several friendly matches, where they came out with some exciting results. They also enjoyed convincing victories against Uzbekistan (2-0) and Qatar (3-0) before going on a tour in Spain. During their time in Spain, they defeated Atletico Madrid’s U16 team with impressive scorelines of 4-1 and 1-2 in two matches. They also battled to a thrilling 3-3 draw against Real Madrid’s U17 team.

Subsequently, they traveled to Germany, where they continued their impressive performances by defeating Augsburg and Reutlingen with convincing scores of 3-1 and 6-1, respectively. Prior to the start of the Asian Cup, they delivered a dominant performance against Nakhon Ratchasima’s U17 side, securing a resounding 6-0 victory.

Although the Asian Cup did not result in the desired outcome for them, the team did show promise for the future. They drew against Vietnam and narrowly lost to Uzbekistan by a single goal. Notably, they also managed to score four goals against Japan, who went on to become the tournament champions and possessed one of the strongest defenses in the entire competition.

Similarly, the U20 team showcased their dominance in their age group as well. Although they faced an initial defeat against Bangladesh in the SAFF opener last year, they quickly bounced back and went on an impressive four-match winning streak. Their journey culminated in a remarkable victory over Bangladesh, with a commanding 5-2 scoreline, securing the prestigious SAFF U20 Championship.

In the AFC U20 Asian Cup Qualifiers, they were drawn into a challenging group alongside formidable opponents such as Kuwait, Iraq, and Australia. Facing tough competition, they suffered defeats against the strong teams of Iraq and Australia, but managed to emerge victorious with a commendable 2-1 win over Kuwait.

Later this year, the youth teams of India will be involved in various competitions. In September, they are set to participate in the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualifiers, where they will go head-to-head against some tough opponents such as Maldives, China, and UAE. In addition, the SAFF U16 and U19 tournaments are also on the horizon, offering further opportunities to our youngsters to show their real potential.

Overall, our youth teams are flourishing, and it is about time that we paid some attention towards fostering their potential. The future is bright gentlemen, fear not, your investment will be in safe hands.

Blue Tigresses on the rise

If we take the Euros as a sign, women’s football is making significant strides worldwide. The upcoming World Cup is expected to be a massive event, the largest showdown in the history of women’s football. And the Indian Women’s team is not far behind. Our Blue Tigresses have made notable progress, impressing everyone with their recent performances. They recently completed a 4-0 rout against Kyrgyzstan in the first round of Olympic Qualifiers, and are now gearing up to face Japan, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan later this year.

There is a sense of optimism and confidence on the talented set of players currently part of the national team. India is currently ranked 60th in the FIFA rankings, and boasts an impressive 11th position among AFC nations.

Indian Football

Moreover, on an individual level, there are several players who have or are competing in foreign leagues. Bala Devi had a stint with Rangers before an unfortunate ACL injury necessitated her return, while Aditi Chauhan briefly played for West Ham before coming back to India. Dangmei Grace enjoyed a short period with Uzbekistani club FC Nasaf. Currently, 21-year-old Manisha Kalyan plays for Cypriot First Division club Apollon Ladies FC, while Jyoti Chauhan and Somuya Guguloth are making waves with ZNK Dinamo Zagreb.

Just as the men’s game continues to progress rapidly, the women’s game is following suit. This presents another arena where investments can yield fruitful results, and backing the women’s team can help them take the next step and maybe help them feature in a World Cup even before the men’s team.

Indian Football is experiencing a remarkable upward trajectory, and with the support of brands and investors, it will continue to make significant strides. This presents a perfect moment for them to seize the opportunity to advertise, invest, and back Indian Football, as it is an endeavor they won’t want to miss out on.

Investing in Indian Football will not only benefit our growth but also contribute to the expansion of their own brand and the advancement of their own interests because we have a huge untapped fan-base. However, even in the absence of brands and investors, Indian Football will persistently move forward, just like they have done before, as there is no direction other than upwards. Take a leap of faith with us, and you will find no disappointment in the outcomes.

Follow IFTWC for the latest updates on Indian Football.

Anurag Guha
Anurag Guha
Loves Indian Football and cars that go vroom vroom

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