File photo of Sachin Tendulkar. Photo by Ron Gaunt-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Former Indian cricket stars Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and leading Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and John Abraham are among the owners of eight franchises of the Indian Super League (ISL), a new football league that will begin in September.
The league has been promoted by IMG Reliance and Star India under the aegis of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The winning bidders for the franchises include the Sun Group for Bangalore; the Sameer Manchanda-led Den Network for Delhi; industrialists Venugopal Dhoot of Vieocn, Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas V. Dempo for Goa and John Abraham and football club Shillong Lajong for Guwahati.
Tendulkar and PVP Ventures have won the bid for Kochi; Ganguly, Harshavardhan Neotia, Atletico Madrid, Sanjeev Goenka and Utsav Parekh for Kolkata, Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh for Mumbai and Salman Khan with Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan for Pune.
The ISL, to be held under the Football Sports Development Pvt Ltd, is aimed at taking Indian football to a new level and achieve international standards.
IMG Reliance (IMGR) is a joint venture that brings together India's largest private sector company Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and sports and entertainment major IMG.
In football, IMG produces the global TV feed for the Barclays Premier League, represents the rights of Federations, Leagues and Clubs and partners with major football clients such as FIFA, UEFA and Wembley stadium in developing and delivering their products and revenue streams.
Star India is one of the country's leading media and entertainment companies. It broadcasts more than 40 channels in 7 languages, reaching more than 600 million viewers every week across India and 100 other countries.
The Chennai-based Sun Group owns of the largest media networks in India, including 33 television channels, 45 FM radio stations, two newspapers and five magazines. It also owns DTH service provider Sun Direct and the Indian Premier League (IPL) Hyderabad franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Den Networks is a cable TV distribution company based in Delhi which is also launching a high-speed broadband service.
Dattaraj Salgaocar's company has interests in mining, hospitality and shipping. It exports over 4 million tonnes of iron ore every year. The company also runs the Goa Marriott and Hotel La Plaz Gardens in Goa.
Dempo Mining Corporation Limited is a prominent mining company from Goa. Shrinivas V. Dempo is the chairman of Dempo Group. They are also the owners of Dempo Sports Club, popularly known as ‘the whites’ from Goa.
Videocon has diversified set of products ranging from handsets, D2H, electronic appliances and so on.
John Abraham is known for his obsession for football and is an avid follower of the game and sports in general. He also has a stake in the Delhi team of the Hockey India leagu
Shillong Lajong is an I-league team based in Shillong.
PVP is one of the largest investors of the country in media and entertainment industry and is listed on the BSE and the NSE. Prasad V Potluri, a serial entrepreneur in the global outsourcing services space, is the Chairman and MD of PVP Ventures. PVP was one of the bidders for Hyderabad team of IPL in 2012.
Tendulkar will be associated with the Kochi team as its brand ambassador. “I will always remain a sportsman at heart who is keen to positively impact the sporting fabric of the nation. The Indian Super League presents a great opportunity to develop a platform for the youngsters to learn and enhance their talent to develop into outstanding players," Tendulkar said.
"It has been an interesting experience interacting with the young, passionate team at PVP Ventures led by Prasad Potluri. Based on the various insights shared by the team, the opportunity of the Kochi club seemed like a compelling and challenging proposition. With the Kochi club, we will strive to ‘score our goals’ and play a part in developing the game of football across the country." he added.
Atlético de Madrid plays in the La Liga and has been the champions on 9 occasions. It is the third most supported club in Spain. It is one of the biggest clubs in the world in terms of associates with more than 65,000 season ticket holders.
"I am very excited to have won the Kolkata Franchise of the ISL and being the First International Team to be directly owning a Club in India we along with our Indian Partners and IMG-Reliance aim to revolutionise football in the country," Miguel Angel Gil Marin, owner of Atletico Madrid, said.
Neotia of the Kolkata-based Ambuja Neotia Group is a prominent businessman. The group is a major player in the real estate sector and has recently forayed into the hospitality, healthcare and education sectors.
Goenka of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group from Kolkata has interests in the power and retail trading sectors.
Utsav Parekh is the non-executive-non-independent Chairman at SMIFS Capital Markets Ltd.
Kapoor is the son of actors Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. He is a keen follower of football.
“It is a moment of great pride for me to be a part of the Indian Super League and to represent the vibrant city of Mumbai. Football has never been far away from my daily life since childhood, and now as a partner in the Indian Super League, I am looking forward to translate my passion into contributing to the growth of the sport. I firmly believe in the grassroots and community development program designed by the League organisers IMG Reliance, to popularize the game and that’s one thing which excited me to be part of this dream," he said.
Bimal Parekh is a renowned chartered accountant in Mumbai.
Kapil Wadhawan is the chairman and Dheeraj Wadhawan of the Rajesh Wadhawan group, which has interests in financial services, food retail, hospitality, education and real estate.
Actor, producer and philanthropist Salman Khan is the promoter of the Being Human Foundation.
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