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With VC funding in hand, Baseline Venture bets big on sports biz

MUMBAI: Baseline Venture, launched in October 2014,  has raised $4–5 million from a US-based venture capital firm.

Going forward, Baseline Venture will create some sports properties of its own.

“We have raised $4–5 million from US-based VC fund that has a diversified portfolio in media, education and technology companies,” Baseline Venture group managing director Tuhin Mishra said.

The company operates in four key verticals sponsorship and brand licensing, branded real estate, media rights sales & distribution, and concierge services.

Baseline Venture was launched by Tuhin Mishra, Vipin Nair, R Ramakrishnan, and Vishal Jaison. All four were with leading sports marketing firm Total Sports Asia (TSA) before branching out on their own.

“We are going beyond the run-of-the-mill stuff, be it concierge or branded real estate,” Mishra said.

So what triggered the decision to leave TSA and start a new company? “The core team of TSA felt that we all had so much experience why don’t we do something of our own and create a marketing and sports agency to provide solutions that are out of the ordinary,” Mishra retorted.

He also reveals that the company has managed to do a host of deals since its launch.

The big one was roping in online fashion retailer Yepme as the main jersey sponsor of the West Indian team for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

The company also brokered a deal wherein UST Global became the official technology solutions partner of Moto GP for a period of three years starting 2015.

It also distributed the media rights to the Brazilian World Tour for the Bangladesh territory.

It launched concierge services for residential apartments with tie-ups with Godrej Properties, Kanakia Developers and Unique Builders through their partner Les Concierges.

It also exclusively represents India’s top badminton players K Srikanth and PV Sindhu.

“We are gung ho about the sports business and that is one of the reasons why we wanted to branch out and do our own stuff. Currently, India is witnessing a multi-sport outlook with so many leagues mushrooming,” he noted.

He also said that sports marketing would manifest itself in its true form in the coming times with more and more brands using non-cricket sports to reach their target audience.

Mishra also feels that brands need to go beyond logo sponsorship and start thinking about activation to build consumer connect.