Future Group’s kabaddi team undeterred by lack of sponsors

Bindu D Menon Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Despite fewer sponsors chasing the game of kabaddi, Future Group-promoted Bengal Warriors says money will flow in once the indigenous sport follows professionalism and has entertainment values to offer.

Future Group says it has so far invested ₹6 crore in the sport and hopes to break even in three years.

“It is true that kabaddi is not yet in the mindspace of consumers. However, once it is aired on television and offers the same degree of entertainment as cricket or football, we hope it will attract consumers and sponsors,” said Sandeep Tarkas, CEO, Bengal Warriors.

The company says it has four key sponsors, including Capital Foods and National Insurance Company, who have shown interest in promoting the game.

“Besides sponsorship, we are also doing an in-house branding campaign to promote the game,” adds Tarkas said.

Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, is an initiative of Mashal Sports, driven by Anand Mahindra (Mahindra & Mahindra), and Charu Sharma.

Speaking about The team , Tarkas said that Future Group-promoted firm has nine Indian players, two South Koreans and one Iranian in the team. “Kabaddi is played in 33 countries globally. The idea is to popularise the game by highlighting the modern, international and competitive face of kabaddi,” he added.

The league will start on July 26 and will be aired on prime time television by Star Sports for millions to view across India and the world.

Asked about the estimated television rating the game may attract, Tarkas said: “We are looking at a TRP (television rating point) of one. The badminton league had a TRP of 2.5, while the Indian Premier League generates a TRP of 3.8 on average.”

Tarkas said even after the league is over, the company may do sporting events just to keep the game in the consumer’s mindspace. Other franchisees in the league include those owned by Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Sports, Abhishek Bachchan (Jaipur), Uday Kotak (Pune), Mukand Steel (Patna), Core Green Group (Visakhapatnam), Cosmic Group (Bangalore) and Yes Bank (Delhi).

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Published on July 25, 2014
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