Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of the best known franchisee of the Indian Premier League (IPL), is back with a bang by not only getting some of the major sponsors supporting its re-entry into the saddle after two years, but also set to bring back its old glory by bidding for top players in the ensuing IPL players’ auction to be held on January 27. Despite not been part of the last two seasons due to a Supreme Court ban, the Chennai franchisee of IPL has got filled in all the 9 slots in its Jersey, with sponsors ranging from its former owner India Cements, Nippon Paint, Hyderabad Industries, Equitas, among others, including four new sponsors, said Kasi Viswanathan, CEO, CSK Cricket, which owns the franchisee. “We see an overwhelming response to our franchisee from not only our old partners but from new sponsors, which shows that CSK has come back to the field to take on other IPL franchisees in a big way. Not only we were able to retain our brand icon MS Dhoni to lead the team, we also were able to retain Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja in our team. We will pitch for our old team mates like Ashwin Ravichandran in the ensuing players’ auction to be held at the fag end of this month in Bengaluru.”
Of the total Rs 80 crore entitled for an IPL franchisee to be spent on players (through auction as well retention), we have spent Rs 33 crore so far on three players and will bid for other top players with the remaining money during the auction. Including players hotel stay and logistics cost, we expect to incur an expenditure of around Rs 130 crore during the season, he said. “Since CSK has huge brand equity and fan following across the country, we hope to earn better revenues through merchandise (8 to 10 products like bat, cap, t-shirts, shorts, being produced by 7 By MS Dhoni), gate entry collections, BCCI sharing of title sponsorship money (Star TV bagged the 5-year IPL media rights contract for `16,350 crore recently) and from our title as well associate sponsors,” Kasi Viswanathan pointed out. Though he refused to disclose the title sponsor of CSK, sources in the know told the FE that one of the Muthoot group company will be the major sponsor for this IPL season.
Earlier, Rupa Gurunath, whole-time director of India Cements, one of the sponsor of CSK, said in keeping with this tradition and being a proud sponsor of Chennai Super Kings, we are launching a consumer offer scheme whereby with every purchase of Coromandel Super Power cement consumers get a chance to win the CSK Merchandise range.“Apart from the strong relationship we have built with our channel partners for over decades, India Cements is also keen to further strengthen the brand association in the consumers’ mind. We also believe in giving the best deal to our consumers and hence we have decided to sponsor CSK to further promote the company’s brand equity across the country and we hope to capitalise on the CSK’s strength,” she added.