Indian Super League Announces New Franchise Owners in Its Journey to Revolutionize Indian Football

Indian Super League Announces New Franchise Owners in Its Journey to 
Revolutionize Indian Football 
APRIL 13, 2014 
Indian Super League Announces New Franchise Owners in Its Journey to
Revolutionize Indian Football 
MUMBAI, INDIA--(Marketwired - April 13, 2014) - IMG Reliance, the joint venture
between IMG Worldwide and Reliance Industries in India, Star India and the All
India Football Federation, announced today the awarding of the eight new
franchises that will make up the new Indian Super League. The inaugural
football championship will operate between September and November beginning
this year. 
Termed as an unrivaled footballing event, the Indian Super League, being
planned under the Football Sports Development Pvt Ltd., aims to ignite a
revolution in the sport and ultimately enable Indian football to thrive and
perform at the highest level on the international stage. 
The Indian Super League's proposal for 'League Partners'
received an overwhelming response from the business, sports and Bollywood
community, to own a team from the nine proposed cities in contention. Four of
the final eight cities -- Delhi, Kochi, Guwahati and Bangalore -- will find
itself in the mainstream football map of the country, which is traditionally
being dominated by Kolkata, Goa, Pune and Mumbai, through the high-profile
professional Indian Super League. 
The winning bidders represent a strong mix of corporate entities and
-Sun Group the Indian conglomerate for BENGALURU.  
-Chairman Sameer Manchanda of the cable provider Den Network for DELHI.  
-Venugopal Dhoot of the industrial conglomerate Videoco, with Dattaraj
Salgaocar and Shrinivas V. Dempo for GOA. 
-The Indian film actor John Abraham partnering with the I-League team Shillong
Lajong for GUWAHATI. 
-Renowned Indian cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar and the media and entertainment
investment firm PVP Ventures for KOCHI.  
-Former captain of the Indian National team Sourav Ganguly, Harshavardhan
Neotia, Spanish football Club Atletico Madrid, Sanjeev Goenka, Utsav Parekh for
-Bollywood's Ranbir Kapoor, one of the leading Indian film actors for
- Indian actor, producer, television presenter and philanthropist Salman Khan
together with Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan of the Indian conglomerate
Wadhawan Group for PUNE.  
Ernst & Young is the designated international advisory firm and had the
mandate of drawing up and validating the bid process. Each bidder was subject
to strict eligibility terms and was required to submit the bids, as prescribed
under the 'Invitation to Bid' document. Bids were evaluated by the
jury panel in the presence of Ernst & Young representatives. 
Each of the winning bidders paid approximately $25 million for a 10-year
franchise, valuing the original eight franchises at about $200 million. With
the plan to add additional franchises over the next few years, that would
suggest a future value for football in India in the neighborhood of $1 billion. 
Leveraging the strengths of all its partners, the Indian Super League envisions
creating new football powerhouses in that part of the world, which will rise to
global prominence as the country and the sport further develops. 
Announcement of the eight 'League Partners,' is the first major step
towards setting the pace for the realization of a dream -- the dream of over a
billion Indians to experience and embrace the beauty of football. 
One of the prominent criteria in the process of 'League Partners'
selection had been the commitment towards grass roots development -- an
essential ingredient required for a systematic growth of the sport. In the
first year, the Indian Super League along with its eight partners aims to reach
one million kids through an in-school program and community development. Going
forward, the league will endeavor to have a grassroots training module, along
the lines of FIFA approved programs, for age specific coaching starting with
U-8 and after five years, each of the League Partners to have a full-time
"It is with great pride that I welcome the eight League Partners to the
Indian Super League. We want to unlock the unbound aspirational energy of our
youth through grassroots and community development programs," said Nita M.
Ambani of Reliance Industries. "Together, we will strive to build a
vibrant ecosystem that will provide impetus to football in India. As mentor of
the League, I commit myself to development of football as a major sport for the
youth of India." 
India is uniquely placed as the youngest nation on the planet in terms of
demographics and is poised to emerge as an economic superpower, having all the
potential and aspiration to revel its sporting prowess. 
"Today's announcement is the culmination of several years of hard
work and strategic planning," said Michael Dolan, Chairman and Chief
Executive of IMG and Chairman of IMG Reliance. "We are enormously pleased
at the level of interest the creation of the Indian Super League has generated.
We believe the League signals the beginning of a new era in the development of
football in India and, in the future, will be the source of great pride for the
people of India." 
Given the burgeoning interest in football and the country's long
association with the sport, the Indian Super League desires to position itself
among the best footballing competitions across the world, as an entertaining
and high quality league that would engage hundreds of millions of fans and
drive improvement in playing standards. 
"Inspiring our nation to excel is a priority and comes naturally to us at
Star India. With our expertise in marketing and production of sports content,
our task is cut out to etch football in the sports culture of India," said
Uday Shankar, CEO of Star India. "The nation has been awaiting its second
sport for far too long. And we're delighted to collaborate with esteemed
partners in the business and sports world to make that happen!" 
The Indian Super League represents transformational progress for Indian
football, progress that will be good for players, fans and the League Partners.
It's an opportunity to be part of one of the most exciting new properties
in football anywhere in the world and Indian Federation, the AIFF has extended
all its help for the success of the League. 
Praful Patel, President, AIFF, said, "No period in India's long and
proud history in football is more exciting than today. This day will go down in
memory as a special day for Indian football as eight high profile celebrities
and corporates are being introduced into the sport through Indian Super League.
With IMG Reliance and Star providing the perfect foundation, the League has
become an unstoppable force which will change Indian football. I hope the
grassroots obligations of the franchises give a huge push to the development of
the game. Along with the world class infrastructure that is being created for
the Under 17 FIFA World Cup, and AIFF's expression of interest to host
2015 and 2016 FIFA Club World Cup, Indian football is definitely turning a new
leaf in its history." 
Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF is also a firm believer of the fact that
Indian football needs an innovative approach to amass popularity. "I have
always believed Indian football needs an innovative and experimental format
like Indian Super League to bring the fans back to the stadiums. Today, with
the kind of owners and organizers that we have behind Indian Super League, we
have the perfect recipe to a successful professional tournament. I wish the
Indian Super League all the best." 
With the onset of Indian Super League, India seeks to write a new chapter in
creating the footballing culture with renewed energy, investment and commitment
by the stakeholders -- IMG Worldwide, Reliance Industries, Star India and the
Indian Federation, AIFF. 
Jim Gallagher
(212) 774-4419 
INDUSTRY:  Financial Services - Commercial and Investment Banking, Financial
Services - Venture Capital, Government - International, Sports - Competitions
and Venues, Sports - Equipment and Accessories, Sports - Individuals and Teams 
-0- Apr/13/2014 18:47 GMT
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.