own sponsors. In IPTL too, as per Bhupathi, each team has a salary cap of $10 million and there is a minimum as well; so the organisers have to spend at least $4 million.
The Pro Kabaddi League has got takers in the form of Future Group’s Kishore Biyani, Kotak Bank promoter Uday Kotak, Unilazer’s Ronnie Screwvala, among others. It is said the investment by each franchisee will be around
R5 crore a year.
Memon believes the leagues have also opened up employment options for many young players. “Today, there are some young hockey players who are earning R25-30 lakh,” he says.
However, Ashish Chadha, CEO of Sporty Solutionz, IBL’s commercial partner, is of the belief that our dependency on sponsorships needs to be reduced. “The problem here is too much of dependency on sponsorship, which is not the case when it comes to international leagues. Their fan base, merchandising, etc, are so strong that the leagues don’t have to think much about sponsorship.”
When IPL started in 2008, it was appreciated by the people because the matches were completed in just three to four hours, rather than a day-long affair of a traditional 50-over ODI match. Moreover, it happened at a time when no other league was scheduled anywhere in the world.
The new leagues too have started following the same formula. IPTL is about to begin in November. IWL, too, is scheduled for mid-November as the World Championships will be over by then. “November suits us as the World Championships are over and all big players would be available. We can hold our national championships before that,” said IWL commissioner and chairman GS Mander.
The organisers have partnered with Sporty Solutionz, which had successfully organised IBL last year, to launch this venture.
Like all IPL events, star power is in full play. While actor John Abraham showed interest in HIL by buying a stake in Delhi Waveriders and becoming a co-owner, Sunil Gavaskar and Telugu actor Akkineni Nagarjuna became associated with IBL. While nothing has been announced in case of IPTL, except the players who have been signed by each of the teams, the likes of Nadal, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, among others, who have confirmed their participation in the tournament, are strong crowd magnets. Chadha believes for any league to sustain, the important thing is to create a fan base.
“When compared to global leagues like the