Saturday, 22 December 2012

Badminton India's Next Big Commercial Sport

As a national interest, badminton is on its way up and as a sport, it is on its way to becoming a commercial success in 2013. According to Mahesh Bhupathi, Indian badminton has a great combination of things going in its favour. The tennis star follows badminton closely both as an athlete and as owner and MD of Globosport, the sports and entertainment media consultancy. 

“First, for any sport to be successful in India, you need to have role models,” he says. He points out that a sport needs to have successful players, who occupy top international rankings, and India certainly has such names both at the senior and junior levels. “Not only does India have senior Olympians like Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap, but plenty of prodigious young talent is coming up the ranks too.”

Seventeen-year-olds C Rohit Yadav and Pusarla Venkata Sindhu are ranked ninth and seventh on the junior world men’s and women’s lists, respectively. Successful youngsters are marketable role models for kids to take up the sport.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Good response to IBL from corporates

The proposed Indian Badminton League (IBL) has received 18 expressions of interest from corporates for its six franchises so far and the organisers are expecting 12 to 14 more initial bids over the next 15 days. A total of eight cities are in the fray for the IBL tournament to be held from June 24 to July 11, 2013 and the organisers will finally settle on six franchises that get the best bids. The eight cities in the race are Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Nagpur.

The $1 million league, the highest prize money badminton tournament in the world, will see the participation of as many as 50 foreign and Indian players including Chinese superstar Lin Dan and world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, who have been approached by the event organisers.

The auction of IBL players is scheduled for March and the league is approved by the Badminton World Federation and the Badminton Asia Confederation, a release from the organisers said.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Icon Players in IBL 2013

Five Indian players, including Olympic Games bronze medalist Saina Nehwal, were announced as the icon players of five of the six city-based franchise outfits in the USD 1 million prize money Indian Badminton League (IBL), to be held in 2013.

Apart from Saina Nehwal, whose base price has been fixed at USD 50,000, London Games men`s singles quarter finalist Parupalli Kashyap, world bronze medal winning women`s pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa and up-and-coming P V Sindhu were named as the team icons at the launch of the IBL.

The IBL, which is a joint initiative of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and its commercial partner Sporty Solutionz Private Ltd, is to be held in six cities across the country from June 24 to July 11, 2013, and has the blessings of the world body, BWF, which has provided it a clear window in the annual calendar.

First IBL from June 24 to July 11, 2013

Million-dollar Indian Badminton League (IBL) which is expected to have the leading players of the world, will be held from June 24 to July 9 next year in 2013. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) had given two windows for the inter-city tournament IBL - January 21 to February 9, 2013 and June 24 to July 9, 2013. It has been decided to hold the League from June 24 to July 9, 2013.

The reason for having the League in mid-2013 is the availability of the leading players in the world as these dates don’t clash with any Super Series tournament or other prestigious tournament. Besides, January-February schedule clashes with examination time in India and a lot of kids and young people wouldn't be able to watch it and be part of the IBL,” said an official. “In many parts of India, schools are on vacations till July 4 and colleges till July 21. It’s still early stage of their academic season and gives them good time to enjoy the IBL from June 24-July 9.”

The organisers are yet to finalise on the six cities where the franchisee-owned teams will be based. “We have to decide from about 10 cities where badminton is highly popular,” said the source. Among the cities where badminton is popular are Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Nagpur.

(Source: DNA India)