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Brands across categories have started to roll out campaigns celebrating the inspirational journey of athletes as they qualify to be a part of Tokyo Olympics scheduled to start from 24 July. It is expected that India will send its largest-ever contingent for the Tokyo Olympics and brands are leaving no stones unturned to boost their morale.

Hindustan Unilever's detergent brand Rin, for instance, launched a new campaign capturing the inspiring story of C.A. Bhavani Devi, India’s first woman fencing champion to qualify for Tokyo Olympics. She has not only overcome financial obstacles but also gender stereotypes.

Prabha Narasimhan, executive director & VP – home care, Hindustan Unilever Ltd said that brand Rin stands for supporting and celebrating the progress seeker, individuals who pursue their dreams and demonstrate courage to rescript their destiny.

“Through our latest campaign, 'Ab waqt hai chamakne ka', our endeavor was to showcase the glorious journey of Bhavani Devi, her mother's sacrifices, and their collective success and in the process inspire millions of others to keep persevering in their dreams, despite the odds," she added.

Dairy brand Amul, which is also a sponsor with Indian Olympic Association (IOA), unveiled a topical ad celebrating Bhavani Devi's qualifier win. Devi is seen playing the game with brand mascot Amul girl.

Brand experts note that the once-in-a-four-year sports event attracts eyeballs from across the world with sports such as shooting, wrestling, long jump and hockey garnering good viewership in India.

Harish Bijoor, brand strategy expert and founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. said that brands have also been starved of big events for a long time and therefore Olympics presents a good opportunity for them.

“It is also relatively economical than a property like Indian Premier League (IPL). There are some brands that like the wide audience that Olympics attracts both from India and Indian diaspora that follows the sporting event. Having said that, brands need to carefully select which sports to back and which audience to target," he added.

As IOA's principal sponsor MPL Sports Foundation, the community initiative of esports platform Mobile Premier League (MPL), has rolled out digital campaign supporting the India squad as well. It is being run across social media platforms.

“India has the potential to become a global sports superpower. One of our goals with MPL Sports Foundation is to democratise opportunities in sports and esports for our talented youth," said Sai Srinivas, co-founder and CEO, Mobile Premier League (MPL).

Meanwhile, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) released a digital video campaign saluting its 17 Olympians who have made the country proud at the global sporting event over the years. Apart from campaigns, the company said that it has also been actively hiring sports personnel since 1987.

“So far, around 250 sports persons have been employed by us. Out of these, 64 are still active in their sports discipline and six of these will represent India in Tokyo Olympics," a BPCL spokesperson said.

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