ESPN has launched the an online store for ESPNCricinfo at Shop.ESPNcricinfo.com by tying up with Australian company Velocity Brand Management‘s retail division. As of now, the website offers jerseys, memorabilia, equipment and accessories. Though the shop is targeted at cricket fans in Australia and New Zealand it does ship products to India.
There are several products that might interest Indian fans on the website such as jersey of team India and Sachin Tendulkar memorabilia which could cost you a lot. For instance, Sachin Tendulkar commemorative sportsprint will cost you Rs 13,563, while Sachin Tendulkar “Little Master” signed bat costs Rs 134,707. Oh and this is without including the shipping cost which is a flat fee of Rs 1,541. Since it’s not a website that is built for India, it accepts only credit card and PayPal as of now. All products are priced in USD and the INR valuation is for your convenience purpose only.
The shop also has a T20 section, but the IPL sub-section is just an empty page as of now. We are assuming that the company is in negotiation with all right holders to sell merchandise, but it needs to be seen what prices they finally offer the product at. IPL jerseys have mostly sold at rates of $10-$20 which is much lower than the prices of other jerseys listed on the website. A Nike Team India jersey for example, cost Rs 8,012 and a training tshirt costs Rs 3,696.
If you’re planning to buy a jersey from this store and import it to India, do remember to get the size right as the product needs to be exchanged within 14 days. Considering the shipping rates and the time taken that might be bit of a challenge, though this won’t be a concern if you are planning to buy memorabilia.
ESPN Australia says that it will introduce additional digital shops across other ESPN digital properties globally in 2014, including ESPN Scrum (rugby) and ESPN Footytips (AFL). It is not clear if the company plans to launch an India specific store any time soon. While it is a good initiative, we hope ESPN launches an India specific site or ties-up with an Indian e-commerce company to take care of the logistics to make it more attractive to cricket fans here.