Sumeet Mathur, Managing Director, Friesland-Campina Middle East Image Credit: Supplied

When the coronavirus pandemic engulfed 2020, it was highly doubtful whether the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) would be held this year or not. That was when the UAE offered a rainbow of hope by offering its venues to host the event. Everything happened quickly thereafter, and today the UAE is staging the 10th match of this mega-event.

FrieslandCampina Middle East, the parent company of Rainbow Milk, is backing Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), which is one of the strongest and star-studded teams in the IPL. By announcing ‘Let the games begin’ through a campaign titled ‘Timeout Moments’, FrieslandCampina Middle East has inspired not only the Bangalore team but all cricket fans as well.

Speaking to Gulf News, Friesland-Campina Middle East’s Managing Director Sumeet Mathur revealed why FrieslandCampina Middle East came forward to be associated with the IPL. “In the last 12 years since the IPL was born, it has become a mighty brand in the world of cricket. Twenty20 cricket has reignited the passion of cricket fans all over the world because it has a very action packed format versus some of the other formats that takes up more time. The beauty of the IPL and why it has been so exciting to fans across the world is also due to the fact that it brings together some of the best players in the world into its fantastic teams. So we have the best in cricket coming together in a very action packed format. What makes it special for FrieslandCampina is that it is happening in the UAE, which is a big privilege and honor for the UAE, and a big responsibility as well, but for us it is a really thrilling moment.”

So what prompted FrieslandCampina to become the official partners for RCB? Mathur said: “We have tremendous amount of respect for all teams in the tournament. But for us, I guess, there was a bit of bias towards RCB because on one hand they bring in some of the best international players in the world, and also that they are led by Virat Kohil, who is the No.1 cricketer in the world right now. He is a much loved player who is appreciated by everybody across their loyalties to clubs or country. This is a little bit like our Rainbow brand which is a very beloved brand in the region. So we saw some connect and synergy between RCB and us, and decided to back RCB.”