Sponsors and support for Zee's ICL

After the Indian Cricket League announced its players, it is expected to announce its list of venues and sponsors soon.

updated: August 24, 2007 12:43 IST
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After the Indian Cricket League announced its players, it is expected to announce its list of venues and sponsors soon.

A number of companies have expressed their interest in investing in the ICL. Sadly for the BCCI, this is one group they can't afford to penalise, quite literally.

Sashi Sinha, the CEO of Lodestar Universal, a major international media buying house, received an important mail from one of his colleagues on Tuesday morning.

The mail mentioned that at least six major companies have expressed interest in investing in ICL by way of sponsorships and contracts. This was less than 24 hours after ICL showcased over 40 players who joined them in a ceremonial press conference in Mumbai on Monday.

"People are constantly looking for opportunities. Advertisers buy audiences and they buy experience. The ICL format takes away the uncertainty of the game like in English football, the sponsors never lose out unlike in the cricket World Cup, when we had crores of money riding and we lost. The ICL format takes away the pressure of India not doing well," said Sashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar.

It's early days yet, but advertisers are looking for an extra bang to their buck and that even includes the biggest daddy of cricket sponsorship, Team India sponsor, Sahara. It's chairman Subroto Roy said that Sahara would back ICL.

Speaking on NDTV's show 'Walk the Talk', Subroto Roy has said that the primary reason for this was much to do with Indian emotions regarding cricket.

NDTV: What's your view on the ICL?
Subroto Roy: I think anything that's happening for cricket is good.

NDTV:If you had your way would you back it?
Subroto Roy: If it comes to me that we can support it for the good we will do that.

NDTV:Sahara could be the sponsor of the National cricket team and the ICL?
Subroto Roy: It may happen in the future.

This could cause the biggest ripples with the BCCI because the buck won't stop with them and they are big bucks.

"I wouldn't worry about advertising coming my way. That will happen since the product is good. We have the right names. A lot of advertisers are in touch with us and we are putting processes in place. That is our priority now," said Ashish Kaul, Executive Vice President, ICL.

In cricket, it is the money which makes the ball go round and the biggest dent that the ICL might make to the BCCI is where it will the hurt the most - its coffers.