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Tendulkar, Adani, JSW and GMR new team owners of Pro Kabaddi League
MUMBAI: Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) will have big corporates as the new team owners. The JSW Group, Adani Group, GMR Group, and a partnership of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and serial entrepreneur N. Prasad are the four new team owners of the PKL.
The four teams will represent the new geographies of Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. While Adani Group will own the team for Gujarat, JSW Group will have for Haryana and GMR for Uttar Pradesh. Tendulkar and his consortium will own the team for Tamil Nadu.
Adani Wilmar Ltd will be the company under which the Adani Group will own the PKL team. Similarly, JSW Sports and GMR League Games will be the companies owning the teams for Haryana and Uttar Pradesh respectively. Iquest Enterprises Pvt Ltd is Tendulkar’s consortium company owning the Tamil Nadu team.
The fifth season of PKL, which kicks off in July, will have 12 teams, up from the current eight. It will have more than 130 matches spread across 13 weeks. Last month, a tender was floated to add four teams selected from Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
“With the support of existing and new partners, we are well on our course to realizing a socially transformative sports agenda. The interest shown by these corporates is evidence of the immense potential of Kabaddi,” Star India chairman and CEO Uday Shankar said.
As reported earlier, PKL broadcaster and format rights owner Star India signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Chinese handset maker Vivo. The deal is valued at Rs 300 crore. With PKL, Vivo gets to associate with the second-most popular local sporting league in the country after the IPL.
PKL has seen a phenomenal growth over the last four seasons with packed stadia and record viewership numbers, emerging as a benchmark for sports leagues in India. Significantly, the high popularity of PKL has evoked continually surging sponsor interest. This fast-growing interest from across the ecosystem reflects the national appeal of the sport.
PKL was founded in 2014 and the first tournament was played between eight franchises representing eight cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Patna, Pune and Jaipur ) in India. The organising company Mashal Sports was co-founded by Charu Sharma, director of Mashal Sports, and Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group. Star India acquired a 74% stake in Mashal Sports and is also the official broadcaster of the league.