Despite what many advertisers think, Kishore Biyani’s Future Group still has faith in cricket. The Group is the exclusive sponsor of the upcoming Indian matches at neutral venues Ireland and Scotland in June-July 2007. The ‘Future Cup’ will consist of four matches, three to be played with South Africa, and a single match with Pakistan, in Ireland and Scotland respectively. The matches have been sponsored at $ 600,000 per match.
The three matches between India and South Africa in Ireland will be held on June 26, 29, and July 1, while the India versus Pakistan match in Scotland will be played on July 3. Both the events will be simulcast live on Zee Sports and DD National, with highlights on Zee Sports and Ten Sports.
Lalit Modi, Vice-President, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), observed that this is the first time in India that a corporate has taken up the complete commercial rights for a series. For the upcoming series, Future Group will exclusively sponsor and leverage 100 per cent of all sponsorship and advertising opportunities. “I feel that the Future Group, with its numerous brands, can leverage this series more optimally than a single brand,” added Modi.
Commenting on this occasion, Kishore Biyani, Group CEO, Future Group, noted that they have been associated with cricket in various capacities before. “We believe that cricket is here to stay. This is the first time that we are taking up the complete sponsorship for a series.”
PDM Sports, the sports marketing and management division from Percept Holdings, had marketed the series for BCCI. Shailendra Singh, Joint MD, Percept Holdings, said, “We think this was a great opportunity for the Future Group to explore.”
The India-Pak match in the series is a charity cricket match to mark the 60th anniversary of Independence. This match is expected to raise over $5 million for charities in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UK. The match is organised by the British Asian Trust, set up to fund community projects in these areas. The proceeds from the match will be distributed by the Trust.