India's leading real estate developer DLF Ltd has bagged the title sponsorship rights for the Indian Premier League extravaganza that is set to kick-off on April 18.
A statement from the IPL on Wednesday said the rights for title sponsorship were won by DLF "through a fair and transparent open bid process with a highest bid of Rs 40 crore per annum. The deal gives DLF Ltd. exclusive title sponsorship rights for five years, valuing in excess of Rs 200 crores".
The title sponsorship race was between DLF Limited, World Sports Group (WSG), which had bid on behalf of Hero Honda Motors (India) Ltd, Percept D'Mark and 21st Century Media.
"The title sponsorship race was tightly-contested between three participants, with DLF emerging the final winner through a fair and transparent process," said Lalit Modi, Chairman and Commissioner, Indian Premier League.
"I am truly happy to have India's leading real estate developer DLF as our title sponsors, as they happen to share a common vision with the BCCI to make the Indian Premier League one of the finest cricketing leagues in the world. It is exciting to have an eclectic mix of elite Indian businessmen, Bollywood personalities and corporates as our allies, working collectively as one to ensure the success of the IPL.
"On behalf of the IPL Governing Council, I would like to thank everyone who participated and supported us throughout the bidding process," he added.
Rajeev Talwar, Group Executive Director, DLF Limited, said, "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 recognizing talent and this is one more achievement towards nurturing professional talent for the game of cricket in this country. This is game which has mass appeal all over India and both cricket as well as DLF will grow hand-in-hand."
With the media broadcast rights, the eight team franchises and title sponsorship rights declared, all eyes are on the players' auction scheduled to take place on February 20 through the open bid process in association with IMG, the world's leading sports media and entertainment agency. As many as 85 international and Team India players will be up for auction between the eight franchises on that day.
Earlier, leading sports broadcaster Sony Max and World Sport Group bagged the IPL's global media and production rights for US $1.026 billion. The exclusive franchise rights for the eight-city league were won by Shah Rukh Khan (Kolkata), Preity Zinta (Mohali), RIL Pvt Ltd (Mumbai), GMR Holdings (Delhi), UB Group (Bangalore), Indian Cements Ltd (Chennai) , Deccan Chronicle (Hyderabad) and Emerging Media (Jaipur).
The League kicks-off on April 18, with high voltage action expected between Sharukh Khan's Kolkata franchise and business baron Vijay Mallya's Bangalore tam at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore.
The eight-franchise tournament will run for 44 days. Each franchise will play all others on a home and away basis with seven matches at home. The top four franchises in the league will contest the semi-finals and the victorious semi-finalists will meet in the grand final, all over one weekend, in Mumbai.
The inaugural season of the IPL will showcase 59 matches and provided broadcasters and in-stadia spectators 177 hours of live family entertainment, which will also be viewed by a significant international audience.
All matches will be during late afternoon and evening to coincide with prime time for television and providing a convenient time for the stadium audience.