New Delhi: Italian sportswear maker Fila on Tuesday said it has signed up cricketer Virender Sehwag as its first ever brand ambassador in India.

The company is also gearing up to raise prices of its entire range of products by up to 7 percent from August to mitigate impact of rupee depreciation.

"Cricket is a very widely followed sport in India and with Sehwag we want to strengthen our brand presence," Fila India Chief Executive Officer Rajiv Bajaj told reporters here.

The company's association with Sehwag will be for a period of three years. It will launch new ad campaigns featuring the cricketer in both electronic and print, he added.

Fila India usually spends 6-8 percent of its retail revenue in marketing and advertising.
Bajaj said the company had clocked retail revenue of Rs 120 crore in 2011-12 and is targeting to increase it to Rs 150 crore in the ongoing fiscal.

Commenting on plans to hike product prices, Bajaj said: "Lots of our footwear are imported into India and the recent rupee depreciation (against dollar) has impacted our margins.

We will increase prices of all our products by 5-7 percent from August".

Rupee has been losing ground against the dollar over the past few months and had touched a record low of 57.92 last week.

Apart from footwear, Fila sells apparels and accessories in India. Prices of its footwear ranges between Rs 1,700 and Rs 5,000, while apparels start from Rs 700 and goes up to Rs 4,000.

Accessories like bags are priced at Rs 999 to Rs 1,999.

"Price increase will be on all footwear items," he said, adding the hike in apparel and accessories prices could be less as the company sources some of the items locally.

He said the company is expanding the sales network to 100 exclusive outlets in the next three years from 35 at present.

Besides, it is also planning to expand the reach to about 2,500 multi-brand outlets in three years from 1,800 locations now.

Fila has been present in India for the last three years and operates in the country under a licence agreement.

(Agencies)

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