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'Yoga League', the newest addition to the various franchise-based leagues in India

Like cricket, yoga too gets a league as Baseline Ventures and Republic of Sports secure rights.

VARANASI, INDIA - APRIL 23:  Young Indian Hindu Brahmins training to be priests perform yoga on a ghat on the Ganges River, holy to Hindus, at sunrise on April 23, 2014 in Varanasi, India.  (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Yoga is practised by many enthusiasts in the country

India is all set to get its first one of a kind ‘Yoga League’. Following the massive success of franchise-based leagues in cricket, football, kabaddi, badminton and other sports, Baseline Ventures and Republic of Sports have come up with the idea of such an innovative league.

Yoga has always been embraced for its potential health benefits but a league involving yoga seems absurdThe contestants will be performing ‘asanas’ choreographed to the tunes of songs, the perfect mix of Yoga and Bollywood.  The executives of the two sports marketing firms have already acquired the long-term rights from Yoga Federation of India and Asian Yoga Federation so as to launch Yoga League in India and Asia. 

The firms have set out the blueprints for popularising yoga around the world and are looking at the property as the perfect gateway for such an endeavour. This should play a vital role in furthering Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission of promoting yoga.

According to a report in the Economic Times, Tuhin Mishra, managing director at Baseline Ventures, reflected that it was certainly the most exciting project and it presents an opportunity to combine Yoga and entertainment as he said, “This is one of the most exciting projects we will be part of. It gives us a chance to create a property which combines Yoga and entertainment.” 

Mishra hopes to launch the first edition of the league as early as the first quarter of 2017. He added, “The way we have developed the format, we are not going to sell the team franchisees. The entertainment mix will allow us to pitch this property to a general entertainment channel, which will ensure more viewership.” 

Teams from within the country and abroad will participate in the league. Bollywood personalities and famous international celebrities will be involved in the league along with some of the top Yoga gurus from India.

Already, a majority of sports federations and yoga enthusiasts have given their consent to take part in this unique league, as has been confirmed by Ashok Agarwal, president of Yoga Federation of India and general secretary, Asian Yoga Federation.

The unprecedented success of the Indian Premier League (IPL) saw a vast number of leagues being introduced in India across various sports. However, it remains to be seen if the Yoga League draws in viewers and advertisers or turns out as a loss-making venture.

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