ESPN Star Sports has announced that integrated telecom services provider Airtel has bagged the rights of title sponsor of the Champions League T20 for a period of five years. The Champions League would be christened ‘Airtel Champions League Twenty20’.
The inaugural season is scheduled to commence from October 8, 2009. A total 12 teams from seven test playing nations is said to participate in the inaugural edition. The 16-day league will have a total of 23 T20 matches. The tournament would be played across three venues – Bangalore, New Delhi and Hyderabad.
Shireesh Joshi, Director – Marketing, Bharti Airtel, said, “We are delighted to announce our partnership with ESPN on the title sponsorship of Champions League Twenty 20 cricket tournament. We have seen a great synergy between our brand and cricket, since both cater and connect to a wide spectrum of consumer segments. This synergy combined with the success of the Twenty 20 format and the growing popularity of club cricket in India makes this a great opportunity for us to partner.”
RC Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, “We are delighted to have Airtel come on board as the title sponsor of the league. We have always believed that this league will stand out as a premier international cricket property in the annual calendar of International Cricket and this landmark partnership vindicates that stand. I am confident that together we will create a wonderful experience for the cricket fan and help make this tournament even bigger in the days to come.”
Sundar Raman, Chief Executive Officer, Champions League Twenty20, said, "I am truly happy to have Asia’s leading integrated telecom services provider Airtel as the title sponsor for the Champions League Twenty20. The tournament will feature the best of the best in Twenty 20 teams from across the world and is sure to enthrall the cricket loving fans in India and across the world.”
Airtel Champions League Twenty20 is an initiative of three founding members – the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa - the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 is a platform where the best-of-the-best in domestic club cricket in the world will get the opportunity to pit their cricketing skills against each other. The Airtel Champions League Twenty20 carries prize money of USD 6 million. ESPN STAR Sports are the commercial rights holders for Champions League Twenty20 for a period of 10 years.
The teams that have qualified and are eligible to play in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 include the IPL 2009 winner the Deccan Chargers and the losing finalists the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who will be joined by the top league finishing team of Season 2009 the Delhi Daredevils. Other 2009 domestic finalists and winners include: Victorian Bushrangers and New South Wales Blues from Australia, Cape Cobras and Diamond Eagles from South Africa, Otago Volts from New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago from West Indies and Wayamba from Sri Lanka. England's Twenty20 Cup finalists will be decided on August 25, 2009.