Kingfisher sponsors IPL umpires for Rs.1.06 billion

March 20th, 2008 - 5:47 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, March 20 (IANS) Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines will pay the Indian Premier League (IPL) Rs.106 crores (Rs.1.06 billion or $26.17 million) to sponsor the umpires for five years for the Twenty20 tournament beginning next month. While announcing the deal here Thursday, Lalit Modi, IPL chairman and commissioner, said that the airline would be known as the Umpire Partner for the eight-team tournament.

“Kingfisher Airlines has had a long association with a variety of sports, at both the domestic and international levels, including tennis, Formula 1, polo and now cricket. Their decision bears testimony to the fact that the DLF IPL is here to stay and is set to carve out a distinct niche for itself in the international cricket calendar,” he said in a statement.

Kingfisher chairman and CEO Mallya, who had bought the Bangalore Royal Challengers for $106 million, said he was happy to acquire the sponsorship for the umpires.

“Our five-year association with the IPL is further testimony to our commitment to building the Kingfisher Airlines brand through sports. The DLF Indian Premier League is a highly innovative concept and the Twenty20 format will undoubtedly take cricket’s popularity to a new high,” he said.

“Kingfisher Airlines will present the DLF IPL umpires in a completely new and modern style while retaining their critical role in the sport.”

Earlier, broadcaster Sony Max and World Sport Group had bagged IPL’s global media and production rights for $1.026 billion.

Soft drink giant Pepsi has paid $12.5 million to be the official beverage partner for five years.

The eight competing IPL teams are Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mohali, Kolkata and Jaipur.

A total of 59 matches will be played over 45 days starting April 18, with each team playing seven home and seven away matches. The top four teams in the league will contest the semi-finals and the winners will vie for the top prize of $3 million in the final June 1 in Mumbai.

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