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Maker of est cola, Man City ink marketing agreement

Ferlan Soriano, CEO of Manchester City, Dhitivute Bulsook, second right, president of Serm Suk, and Parinya Permpanich, marketing and sales operation director, launch the

Ferlan Soriano, CEO of Manchester City, Dhitivute Bulsook, second right, president of Serm Suk, and Parinya Permpanich, marketing and sales operation director, launch the "cool-est" soccer campaign ever.

Pact paves way for "cool-est" soccer campaign as firm seeks to expand base

After making a big impact barely a year after entering the carbonated-drink market, est has joined forces with English Premier League club Manchester City to launch what it calls the "cool-est" soccer campaign ever.

Est is hoping to raise customer awareness across the country and expand its market base by signing a two-year sponsorship deal for an undisclosed fee with the 2012 EPL champions Manchester City. The company has been allowed to use the Manchester City brand and players for commercial purposes.

Since debuting eight months ago, est has enjoyed dramatic growth. Its records include a million cases sold in only five weeks and Bt5 billion in sales in only eight months.

Serm Suk, the maker and distributor, is hoping to build on the initial success with two missions to ensure it meets the dual targets of sales of Bt8 billion and market share of 20 per cent within the first year of introduction.

"Given its 'great-est' achievements in terms of sales and building a customer base nationwide, est is now a key player in the Thai carbonated-drink segment," president Dhitivute Bulsook said yesterday.

"For the remaining six months of the year, we are poised to undertake two major operations to make est the No 1 brand among Thai consumers and become one of the four business pillars that will drive Serm Suk to achieve our growth target.

"Our first mission is to strengthen est's business base and position in Thailand, while our second mission is to expand our entire product portfolio into the international market to reinforce our new corporate vision of being a quality products producer and distributor."

Est's becoming arguably the most successful carbonated-drink newcomer was due to customers' quick awareness of the brand. Launched last November 12, it already enjoys high customer recognition, Dhitivute said.

"Serm Suk and Man City share the same DNA, as we both aspire for achievement in our business. Both of us have ambitious targets, trying to form a strong team and expand the fan base," he said.

He told a conference to reveal the deal with the English club at the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel in Hong Kong, where City took part in a pre-season tournament last week: "Man City set a challenging goal of becoming the top four of the world's most popular football clubs, while Serm Suk's goal is to drive est to be the [carbonated-drink] brand of choice among Thai consumers."

Serm Suk has set aside Bt100 million for its "Manch-est-er City" campaign aimed at a target group of teenagers called "Gen-est".

The company is preparing to launch est in overseas markets.

"Serm Suk is ready to deliver all categories of our products to many other countries," Dhitivute said. "We are in the process of undertaking negotiations with leading companies in Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

"We believe that we can soon conclude new business agreements and expect that Serm Suk will fulfil happiness for consumers in many countries for all occasions by the end of the year."






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