Thursday, June 24, 2010

Few sponsors, OC ok with terms

It might not be as big a deal as sponsorship of the Indian cricket team but the organising committee (OC) seems more than satisfied with the terms, especially as it faces a scarcity of sponsors. Reebok, the international sportswear company, is to sponsor the uniforms of the Indian contingent at the Commonwealth Games 2010. The sponsorship, worth Rs 10 crore, is in the form of kits and accessories like shoes for the team, said OC secretary-general, Lalit Bhanot.

The sponsorship, which will have 750 Indian athletes sport the logo on all their apparel and kit, even casual wear, comes at a time when the OC has been desperately looking for sponsors. According to sources, the Committee had earlier come out with a request for proposal (RFP) for uniforms which had got dismal results. Said a senior OC official, ‘‘The only company which showed interest in sponsoring was Reebok. They wanted the Indian team to sport the logo, and sponsor their uniform. So the sponsorship deal was signed with them.’’ On being questioned, Bhanot admitted that the show major would be sponsoring three competition kits, two training kits, bags, accessories, shoes as well as the casual wear for the athletes and the technical officials who will be accompanying the team. Added Bhanot, ‘‘Its a value in kind (VIK) deal with Reebok. We are happy with the sponsorship.’’ Interestingly, the OC has also awarded a contract to the same company for uniforms for OC officials and volunteers, starting from the national sector of the Queens Baton Relay (QBR).

This contract is worth Rs 10 crore. This will include providing apparel and other sportswear to around 33,000 OC officials including volunteers and maintenance staff. OC has been looking for sponsors for some time now. After Hero Honda, which signed on as a co-partner with the Games, and the Indian Railways, the only other company to sign on has been Coca Cola. Sources say OC is also hoping to rope in Tata Motors as sponsors for the national sector of the Queen’s Baton Relay. Tata Motors will be providing the vehicles that form part of the convoy. Said a senior OC official, ‘‘The deal has not been finalized yet, but we are in talks with the company to associate with the QBR through sponsorship of the convoy vehicle.’’ If the motor company comes on board, it would be the second such company after Hero Honda. Till now, the OC has not been able to generate as much revenue from sponsorships and other avenues as had been expected. While it earned around Rs 300 crore from TV rights, it got a Rs 100 crore deal from the Indian Railways. The loan taken by the OC for conducting the Games meanwhile is Rs 1,620 crore.

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