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Rio Olympics 2016: Sponsors rush in to support Rio-bound Indian athletes

Private sector companies are signing up in numbers to sponsor the Indians who have qualified for the quadrennial extravaganza.

News 30 Jun 2016, 16:21 IST
Before this edition, London 2012 had seen the largest Indian Olympic contingent

Not too long ago, a large section of our promising athletes were faced with financial deficiencies that threatened the realization of their sporting ambitions at an early stage. With five weeks left for the 2016 Rio Olympics to kick off, it is a hearteningly different scenario altogether – private sector companies are signing up in numbers to sponsor the Indians who have qualified for the quadrennial extravaganza.

After slumping to a low of 56 in Beijing 2008, the number of representatives under the Indian flag picked up to reach 83 at the London Olympics 2012 which was a new high for the country. The brigade returned with six medals – the highest tally achieved at any edition of the Games till date.

As of this moment, the strength of the Indian Olympic contingent headed for Rio stands at an unprecedented 103, thus increasing the likelihood of an even better faring at the greatest spectacle in world sports.

Recognising the promise that a larger Olympic-bound unit holds for the nation, several prominent names from the corporate have already pitched in to contribute. Nutrition giant Herbalife, finance conglomerate Edelweiss Group, dairy cooperative Amul and sporting gear brand Li-Ning feature among the sponsors’ list till now.

Other names including global telecom and FMCG firms are in the loop as well. Once confirmed, their offerings will raise amounts in the range of 12 to 15 crores of rupees that will assist the Indian Olympic campaign this year.

Also Read: Rio Olympics 2016: 8 dedicated Star Sports channels to telecast Olympics live

In a first for India, sports management company IOS Sports & Entertainment has been entrusted with charge of the selling the marketing and commercial rights by the Indian Olympic Association. As reported by The Hindu businessline, Neerav Tomar, MD & CEO of IOS Sports & Entertainment is satisfied with the progress made so far and remains optimistic of more sponsorship names coming in for the same purpose.

From the other end, the Goodwill Ambassadors appointed by the IOA have been actively doing their part to enhance the enthusiasm surrounding the athletes among the Indian masses. Hashtags like #JeetoRio, #MakeIndiaProud have gripped the fancy of the followers of national icons like Sachin Tendulkar, Abhinav Bindra and Salman Khan.

To add to that, the live telecast of the Olympic action by eight dedicated channels of Star Sports Network will increase the viewership by manifolds.

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