IPL bid losers get to keep co-sponsor wicket

Written by Pritha Mitra Dasgupta | Mumbai, Feb 25 | Updated: Feb 26 2008, 06:37am hrs
Corporates who lost the Indian Premier League (IPL) team franchisee and the title sponsor bids are in no mood to back out. While Hero Honda has already been named as the co-sponsor, in lieu of $4.5 million per annum for a period of three years, valuing the co-sponsorship in excess of $ 13.5 million, sources disclose that there will be at least three other co-sponsors. The names that are doing the rounds are Pepsi, Reliance ADAG and Future Group. While Pepsi has Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, S Sreesanth and most of the top players as ambassadors, Hero Honda has Virender Sehwag, Irfan Pathan, and Suresh Raina as its brand ambassadors.

There was no separate bid for the co-sponsorship rights and most of the companies contacted the IPL officials directly for getting associated with the event. A number of companies that were not taken on board by IPL are in talks with individual team owners or franchisees for various sponsorship rights. Sources also disclosed that Reliance ADAG is keener on bagging the on-ground rights than co-sponsorship partnership.

Lalit Modi, chairman and commissioner, DLF Indian Premier League said, Hero Honda has a long association with cricket both at the domestic and international levels and their enthusiasm in joining forces with the DLF Indian Premier League was indeed testimony to the common vision shared with the BCCI to make the league one of the finest in the world. We now have a truly exciting mix of elite Indian businessmen, Bollywood personalities and corporate as our allies, all working collectively as one to ensure the success of the IPL.

Pawan Munjal, managing director, Hero Honda Motors, said, This partnership with DLF IPL further strengthens our close association with cricket which is now over two decades old. Indian cricket, as indeed cricket worldwide, is witnessing historic developments with the highly innovative concept of DLF Indian Premier League, and we are happy to be a part of it. The Twenty20 format of the DLF IPL is set to take crickets popularity to a new high and like all cricket lovers, I am also looking forward to the forthcoming mega cricketing event.

The Indian Premier League will feature eight franchises and will run for 44 days. Each franchise will play all others on a home and away basis with seven matches at home. The top four franchises in the league will contest the semi-finals and the victorious semi-finalists will meet in the grand final all over one weekend, which will be played in Mumbai. The inaugural season of the IPL will showcase a grand total of 59 matches providing broadcasters and in-stadia spectators with 177 hours of live family entertainment. All matches will be during late afternoon and evening to coincide with prime time for television and providing a convenient time for the stadium audience.