Cricket and Bollywood are two major obsessions in our country, so when the two merge, they not only grab a large number of eyeballs but also emerge as money-spinners for the stakeholders involved. In our country, two major cricketing leagues—Indian Premier League (IPL) and Celebrity Cricket League (CCL)— are witness to immense star presence, not only in the capacity of franchise owners but also as team players (for CCL) and brand ambassadors. Here’s a low down on the proud Bollywood team owners, the brand tie-ups and the money riding on them!
Celebrity Cricket League
In its third season now, CCL is a cricketing tournament in a T20 league format that involves Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Bhojpuri, Hindi, Marathi and Bengali film industries. While it began with four teams, the third season scheduled to take place from February 9 to March 10 will see a competition between eight teams. Star Network has bought the broadcast rights for this tournament which will be telecast live on eight channels across India. According to the founder and managing director, Vishnu Vardhan Induri, there has been a stunning 300 per cent increase in the revenues with Star network coming onboard. “While our previous broadcaster, Sun TV network helped us establish our position as a serious cricket tournament, Star network is a huge advantage as it is a national broadcaster. With an increase in our brand visibility, we have successfully fulfilled all the eight slots available for brand partnerships,” says Induri.
Sohail Khan - Franchise Owner
Team: Mumbai Heroes
Owned by Celebsports Pvt Ltd, a joint venture started by Khan, Vikas Kapoor, Jordy Patel and Adil Jagmagia, Mumbai Heroes is one of the most profitable franchises.
Players: While Salman Khan is touted as its icon player, Suneil Shetty is the team’s captain. The star-studded line-up of players includes Bobby Deol, Sohail Khan, Aftab Shivdasani, Sonu Sood, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Ashish Chaudhary, Apoorva Lakhia, Angad Bedi, Kabir Sadanand, Sunny Singh, Vatsal Sheth and Sachiin Joshi.
Sponsors: Venky’s Nutrition and NECC.
Brand ambassador: Kangana Ranaut
Boney Kapoor, Sridevi, Arjun Kapoor - Franchise Owners
Team: Bengal Tigers
Owned by Bengal Tigers Sporting Pvt Ltd, founded by Boney Kapoor, Sri Devi and Arjun Kapoor, the team was formed in 2011 and made its debut in CCL Season 2.
Players: Bengali actor Jeet is the captain. The line-up includes actors like Jisshu, Arijit Dutta, Indrajeet and Raja.
Brand ambassadors: Riya Sen, Raima Sen
Riteish Deshmukh - Franchise Owner
Team: Veer Marathi
Bought by Riteish Deshmukh, Veer Marathi will makes its debut in the forthcoming CCL Season 3.
Players: Deshmukh leads the team comprising Mahesh Manjrekar, Adinath Kothare, Umesh Limaye, Aniket Vishwasrao, Ankush
Brand ambassador: Genelia D’Souza Deshmukh
Indian Premier League
Initiated by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Indian Premier League is a Twenty20 cricket championship in its sixth year. Contested by nine teams, of which, three franchises belong to Bollywood stars, the IPL takes place during the months of April and May. The mismanagement of the League and controversies has led to a dip in the IPL’s brand value. According to 2012 report on Sporting Brands by Brand Finance, global brand valuation consultancy, the total value of IPL teams is USD $ 132 million though the teams are most equal in terms of the brand value as compared to other sport leagues across the world. More recently, with Pepsi winning the IPL title sponsorship with a bid worth ` 396.8 crore for the next five years, it remains to be seen if IPL can regain its lost glory.
Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla - Franchise Owners
Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
Owned by Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment in partnership with Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta, KKR was bought for ` 357 crore, as per the estimates. In 2012, the franchise emerged as winners of IPL Season 5.
Tie-ups: Last year, the team had 22 sponsors including Nokia, Reebok, etc. The team invested in merchandise that includes T-shirts, wristbands, caps, shoes, etc.
Brand value: As per 2012 performance, the team is pegged at a brand value of USD $ 39 million, according to Brand Finance and stands fourth in the rankings of most valuable IPL brands.
Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty Kundra - Franchise Owners
Team: Rajasthan Royals
With an investment of approximately $15.4 million, Raj Kundra and Shilpa Kundra own 11.7 per cent stake of Rajasthan Royals.
Tie-ups: This year, the team has partnered with DSC Jaipur Literature Festival where a friendly cricket match will be played between the authors, Rajasthan Royals management and some local players.
Brand value: As per their 2012 performance, the team is pegged at a brand value of USD $ 27 million, according to Brand Finance.
Preity Zinta - Franchise Owner
Team: Kings XI Punjab
Headed by chairperson Preity Zinta along with Ness Wadia, Apeejay Surrendra Group and Dabur, the owners paid $ 76 million to acquire the franchise.
Tie-ups: Their sponsors for IPL 2012 included Videocon d2h, Lux Cozi, ACC, etc. The team’s slate of merchandise includes T-shirts, caps, scarves, flags, trumpets, etc.
Brand value:As per their 2012 performance, the brand value of Kings XI Punjab stands at USD $ 29 million, according to Brand Finance.
Celeb Spotting at sport leagues
Sanjay Dutt is the co-founder with Raj Kundra of Super Fight League, an India based mixed martial arts promotion. With an intent to give a platform to the Indian mixed martial artists along with bringing in talented fighters from across the world, SFL conducted Friday Fight Nights and a reality show, SFL Challengers.
Football enthusiast Ranbir Kapoor is the face of Pepsi T20 Football campaign that began last year. A new format for amateurs, the campaign invited footballers between the age of 14 to 30 to register in 7-member teams at select venues and the series was telecast on ESPN Sports.
A self-confessed fitness freak, Bipasha Basu has been roped in as the brand ambassador of Celebrity Cricket League 2013. The actress who was present at the tournament’s curtain raiser, will also be present at several matches.
Like last year, Kangana Ranaut continues to be the face of Mumbai Heroes, franchisee team of Celebrity Cricket League owned by Sohail Khan. His brother, Salman is touted as the icon player of the team.
Genelia D’Souza Deshmukh
This year, Riteish Deshmukh will make his debut in CCL with his recently bought team, Veer Marathi. The actor has roped in his wife and actress, Genelia D’Souza Deshmukh as the face of the team.