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Rajasthan Royals looks at local handicraft to boost merchandising activities

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MUMBAI: At a time when the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises rely on normal things like T-shirts, caps, books for licensing and merchandising Rajasthan Royals have taken a different stance.

It will use Rajasthan handicrafts to create a touch-point with its fan base. It has done a deal with Indiehaat Ventures, an organisation that aims at revitalising and redeeming the Indian handicrafts industry for domestic and global audiences. The partnership seeks to champion the cause of the rich arts, craft and workmanship of the Rajasthani people that the IPL franchise notes remains unexplored and unseen in India.

The franchise adds that its aim has always been to epitomise the elegance, style, valour, and reflected the rich tradition and history of the region. Through the partnership, Indiehaat becomes the team?s official ?handmade merchandising partner?. Rajasthani artisans will be provided with a commercial platform.

In the coming weeks, the team will launch a line called ?The Royal Collection? in handmade and ethnic Rajasthani goods. This will form the core of its new merchandising line for the current season and also for the year ahead. The collection will represent the handiwork of the state?s artisans in Kantha, embroidery, Kilim as upholstery on furniture, patchwork and Sanganeri prints.

The line will be launched with 25 designs in ethnic Rajasthani furniture and 25 designs in accessories such as bags, cushions, laptop covers, sleeves and stoles. New elements will be added every fortnight.

Rajasthan Royals CEO Raghu Iyer said that the aim to encourage and promote the talent that Rajasthani people have in the area of arts and crafts. "The endeavour is new and different, and we trust it will provide a much-needed platform to local artisans in Rajasthan. It will also add to the exciting inventory of merchandise we offer fans."

Indiehaat Ventures director and partner Shailendra Singh said, "Indiehaat takes great pride in partnering with a team like Rajasthan Royals. As a cricketing franchisee, the team has always encouraged new talent and supported a number of significant causes in Rajasthan, their home state. We are confident that the venture will be very well received and mark the beginning of a great new interface between artisans and fans."

The line will be made available on stock and made-to-order basis through www.thechorbazar.com. The websites has started accepting orders. The joint venture also plans to vend through exclusive stores throughout India.

The Rajasthani handicrafts industry currently export goods worth more than $600 million from the state and employs 0.6 million artisans directly or indirectly.

Rajasthan Royals opening batsman Ajinkya Rahane said, "From nurturing school level cricketers to giving talented young players a chance to show case their skills in the league, Rajasthan Royals is a team that is known to support significant causes and provide new opportunities to people. As a player, I feel proud to see us moving into a unique area of business, which will help promote the incredible talent that Rajasthani people have in the area of arts and crafts."

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