Mumbai: India's leading real estate developer DLF group has bagged a five-year title sponsorship rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a bid of Rs 2 billion (US$50.3m), BCCI sources said on Wednesday.
DLF outbidded Pepsi (participated thro' 21st Century Media, a sports management company) clinching the title rights for Rs 40 crore per annum.
"The title sponsorship race was tightly contested between three participants with DLF emerging the final winner through a fair and transparent process. I am truly happy to have DLF as our title sponsors as they happen to share a common vision with the BCCI to make the Indian Premier League one of finest cricketing leagues in the world," IPL chairman Lalit Modi told reporters.
"We had a minimum bid price of 125 crore (1.25 billion). We are very happy with the bid we got," Modi added.
"It gives us immense pleasure winning the title sponsorship rights of IPL, which will now be known as the DLF Indian Premier League. At DLF, we always emphasise on nurturing and recognising talent, and this is one more achievement towards nurturing professional talent for the game of cricket in this country. This is a game which has mass appeal all over India and both cricket as well as DLF will grow hand-in-hand," DLF official Rajeev Talwar said.
Earlier IPL sold media rights (10-year contract) to a consortium of Sony Entertainment and Singapore-based World Sports Group (WSG) for over US$1 billion. TV rights were worth $918 million, with another $100 million for the league's promotion.
The IPL, expected to involve many of the game's top players, is an effort to counter an unofficial Indian Twenty20 league that began late last year.
The 44-day IPL starts on April 18 and will feature eight franchises in its inaugural season.
More than a handful of international cricketers are expected to feature in a players' auction in Mumbai on Feb. 20 with each franchise having a cap of $5 million for the inaugural year.