Last couple of years have seen emergence of a variety of sports leagues such as Kabaddi, Badminton, Tennis, Hockey, Football and the latest to join the fray is wrestling.
The League is a product of Sportify which is a venture between Kartikeya Sharma , MD of ITV Network and Ashish Chadha, CEO of Sporty Solutionz.
The auction of Pro Wrestling League will start in September and the will be telecast between November 8 and 29, 2015. It will witness a congregation of over 20 Olympic medallists from across the globe, one of the very first in Indian sporting canvass. It has the prize & auction purse that aggregates to 3 million USD.
World’s top 66 wrestlers, six city-based franchisees covering North to South and East to West of India will vie for the top honour and the Prize Purse of Rs 3 crore. A purse of Rs 2 crore in individual prize money is the added attraction for each participant.
Talking to exchange4media, Kartikeya Sharma, Promoter Pro Sportify and MD, ITV Network said, “The main objective behind coming up with Pro Wrestling League is because wrestling is attached with our culture and heritage. There are lots of corporate houses who understand the importance of wrestling in India. The penetration is not only in tier one and two cities but also in three and four cities. I think it is a very good format for people to bring out the best practice to be used in their companies to be associated with a sport like wrestling.”
On the question of sports market already cluttered with plenty of leagues, he said, “We are a large country with very diverse interests. I truly think wrestling has unique ability and unique concept not only because it’s a traditional Indian sports which is popular, but also because we have some popular superstars who have performed in world arena.”
The group is planning to promote this league in every possible manner with a correct mix of media tools including OOH, Print, TV, Radio and Digital for their campaign.
The promoters are expecting a decent number of sponsors and looking for at least presenting, associate and powered by sponsors in the first season. Sharma said, “It’s very difficult to tell the number of sponsors but expectations are very high and for the simple reason I think the synergy of this sport will cater to the needs of number of companies and number of people looking to create the right kind of impact for their product in the market.”
The broadcasting rights soon will be finalised and a formal announcement will be made and channel partner will be announced.
When asked where he sees pro wrestling one year down the line, Sharma replied, “I see it at its zenith at one year down the line because we will have great platform. We are expecting maximum numbers of medals in Olympics and if that happen it will only accentuate the product and increase the appeal because there is sense of pride associated with wrestling which comes out beautifully in this format.”