Star India – the media and entertainment company has decided to hold the title sponsorship of the second season of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) that is scheduled to start from July 18.
The credit goes to STAR for reviving traditional Kabaddi sport in India, sending shockwaves to the sports advertising industry that it can reap benefits if properly and professionally nurtured.
Besides taking over 74 percent of stake from Mashal Sports, owned by Anand Mahindra and Charu Sharma in April, the pro-sports TV multinational from Murdoch group also promised to contribute Rs. 70 crore in an attempt to breed the PKL franchise.
This year many companies offered to buy the sponsorship, but failed to meet Star’s Rs. 20 crore demand, reports said. The report has added that IPG client, Coca Cola has joined hands with Star India to become the associate sponsor of PKL along with Thumbs Up.
Sanjay Gupta, COO of Star India told ET that they were “very encouraged by the overwhelming demand from sponsors to associate with Pro Kabaddi League Season 2.” The demands sprawled across different sectors like that of telecom, auto and ecommerce.
“This year, we are investing to significantly scale up the game and viewership which will help raise its value for future seasons and further grow the sport,” Gupta added.
The instant success and ad response to Pro Kabaddi has made star India realise the potential of the annual season and it may raise the sponsorship rate next year in season 3. Generally, associate sponsors are signed for three years.
Besides Coca Cola and Thumbs Up, Star India has teamed up with Bajaj Electricals, TVS Motors Co, VIP and Flipkart and the company hopes to garner Rs. 40-50 crore this year from the season 2.
Pro Kabaddi League captured a whopping 43 crore viewers last year with the epic finale between Abhishek Bachchan’s Jaipur Pink Panthers (the eventual winner) and Ronnie Screwvala’s U Mumba alone getting 432 million viewers on television.