Mumbai, March 8: The DLF Indian Premier League today announced that Hero Honda, the country's largest two-wheeler maker, has decided to extend its co-sponsorship of the league from three to five years, worth USD 22.5 million over five years.
DLF Indian Premier League Chairman and Commissioner Mr Lalit Modi said, ''I am very pleased to have the country's largest two wheeler manufacturer Hero Honda extend its co-sponsorship deal from three to five years. Hero Honda have a long association with cricket both at the domestic and international levels and their decision bears testimony to the fact that the DLF Indian Premier League is here to stay and is set to carve out a distinct niche for itself in the international cricketing calendar.''
Hero Honda Motors Managing Director Pawan Munjal said, ''We are delighted to extend our partnership with the DLF Indian Premier League. This five year association with the DLF IPL will further strengthen our close association with cricket which is now over two decades old.
Indian cricket, as indeed cricket worldwide, is witnessing historic developments with the highly innovative concept of the DLF Indian Premier League, and we are happy to extend our relationship with it. The Twenty20 format of the DLF IPL is set to take cricket's popularity to a new high and like all cricket lovers I am also looking forward to the forthcoming mega cricketing event.''
Hero Honda has been closely associated with cricket and Indian cricketers such as Virender Sehwag, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina who are its present brand ambassadors.
Earlier, Leading sports broadcaster Sony Max and World Sport Group had bagged IPL's global media and production rights for USD 1.026 billion. The exclusive Franchise rights for the eight city league were won by Shah Rukh Khan (Kolkata), Preity Zinta (Mohali), RIL Pvt (Mumbai), GMR Holdings (Delhi), UB Group (Bangalore), Indian Cements (Chennai), Deccan Chronicle (Hyderabad) and Emerging Media (Jaipur).
The Indian Premier League is set to begin on April 18th 2008, with some high voltage action expected between Shahrukh Khan"s Kolkata franchise and business baron Vijay Mallya"s Bangalore Royal Challengers at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.
The Indian Premier League will feature eight Franchises and 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, which will be played out in Mumbai.
The inaugural season of the IPL will showcase a grand total of 59 matches providing broadcasters and in-stadia spectators with 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.