Hinduja Group forays into sports biz with acquisition of Ultimate Karate League’s Mumbai franchise
MUMBAI: Hinduja Group’s ONEOTT intertainment and In Entertainment India have acquired the ‘Mumbai Ninjas’ franchise in the Ultimate Karate League (UKL). Mumbai Ninjas are one of the six teams that shall feature in the first season of the UKL Ultimate Karate League starting on 11th January 2019.
Speaking on the occasion, ONEOTT intertainment and In Entertainment India CEO Yugal Kishore Sharma said, “Not only the technical rules but the business model of UKL too is also unique that guarantees a very sound eco-system for Team Owners. It is probably the only Professional Sports League in India that is setting out for 3 Seasons in its inaugural year.”
Along with Mumbai Ninjas, the other teams that shall feature in the first season of UKL are Bengaluru Kings, Chandigarh Fighters, Delhi Bravehearts, Kolkata Radicals and Ranchi Rebels. The debut match is all set to take place at Bengaluru’s Koramangala Indoor Stadium followed by its final leg at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi.
With world champions and renowned national players, the UKL Ultimate Karate League will feature matches that are entertaining and action packed – appealing to all Sports fans in India and across the world. UKL has signed World Champions as Marquee Players in each Team. Legendary Masters Sensei Ilija Jorga and Sensei Vladimir Jorga will be present during the entire Season.
Sharma added, “Mumbai Ninjas Team has the World’s Best Fighter Mr. Calin Marincas from Romania as its Marquee Player. Calin has 6 World Championship Titles under his belly.”
Karate was not a spectator sport till the Research & Development works of Sensei Rajeev Sinha resulted in the creation of unique technical rules that are specifically structured from televisions’ perspective. Fan-engagement is maximized and the new rules bring in thrilling action as never seen before in a real-time team matches.
“The main purpose of establishing UKL was to trigger an aspirational connect amongst the existing and future Karate practitioners. It is noteworthy that there are over 190 million practitioners of Karate around the world who pay to learn and compete. However, the current amateur format does not provide a platform for trainees to dream of becoming Ronaldos, Dhonis or Tendulkars of Karate as the rules of amateur competitions are too boring for general spectators. With UKL in place, we expect a steep rise in its following in India,” said IPKC chairman Sensei Rajeev Sinha.
UKL has opted for episodic telecast in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka over Discovery Channel’s DSPORT. “We preferred episodic telecasts on Sundays Prime Time for 18-weeks and repeat telecast on weekdays, totaling 36 days over 5 months of visibility over television,” said Sensei Rajeev Sinha.
UKL has tied-up with Czech Republic-based QuickMedia to broadcast UKL content to rest of the world over its OTT platform.
Additionally, UKL has carved out unique Women Empowerment Program #NoMoreMeToo. “The whole world was recently engulfed in #MeToo wave. But that is merely a ‘problem statement’ and not a solution. We have revived our women empowerment project ‘Be-Your-Own-Weapon’ with #NoMoreMeToo”, added Sensei Sinha.