Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: PKL hits century of sponsors as number crosses 100
What's the story?
Back in 2014, the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) initially got off to a slow start but now, it has begun attracting the masses and sponsors in huge numbers.
In a report on indiantelevision.com, Star India chairman Uday Shankar said, "When we started out, it was difficult to get corporations to own franchises, Anand (Mahindra) used his personal charm to get folks on board. But this year, when we added four teams, a large number of top corporates and individuals were very keen. We had a problem of plenty."
Now, as the league is halfway into the new season, it has around 100 sponsors including individual team sponsors and partners.
In case you didn't know
In the inaugural season, the PKL struggled to gain traction and find sponsors. But now, the popularity is going through the roof. Unilazer Sports CEO Supratik Sen said that all sponsors have a range of Rs 8 million to Rs 20 million each.
Title sponsor Vivo had even signed a Rs 3 billion deal for five years very recently. Other sponsors include Gillette, TVS Motors, Mutual Funds, Bajaj Electricals, Ultratech Cement and many more.
The heart of the matter
Even the teams have attracted numerous principal sponsors like Indian School of Management and Entrepreneurship, Karbonn smartphones, Force Motors, Muthoot Finance and many more.
Apart from these, the teams have a host of secondary sponsors and partners as well. For example, Dabang Delhi have signed up ISME and ISDI (Indian School of Design and Innovation) as shirt sponsors while its other partners include insidesports, Zoomcar and Gold's Gym.
The credit for the increasing popularity goes to Mashal Sports and Anand Mahindra.
As the sport enters its fifth season, there is a lot of scope for it to grow and become more and more popular. Now with more than 100 sponsors behind it, this process will go a whole lot faster.
Pro Kabaddi's success will surely be a positive sign for other sports to come forward and establish themselves. Two decades ago, all we would eat, sleep and breathe was cricket, but now the average Indian is slowly being made aware of other sports where Indian athletes as just as successful as the cricketers.