The Indian Super League (ISL) represents the wave of change that will transform football in India for good. ISL, promoted by IMG and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Foundation has joined forces with another big entity in the world of football. The Indian Super League is partnering with the English Premier League (EPL) to help the new tournament adopt best practices from the world’s most popular football league, as well as establish a governance structure for its franchises.
Support from the Top Brass:
The Barclays Premier League, one of the best leagues in the world will assist in shaping the ISL brand, fan engagement and crucially, setting up anti-corruption and anti-doping rules. From a brand perspective though, there is a lot to be learned from the BPL, the most commercially successful league in the world. Hence, ISL also hopes to gain insights on aspects such as marketing, promotions, referee development, stadium management and player development.
“Partnering with the Premier League brings credence to the Indian Super League and to our vision of popularising the sport in India,” said Nita Ambani, chairperson of IMG-Reliance. “The alliance also presents a great opportunity of partnership and cross promotions between the ISL League partners and Premier League clubs.”
Ready for Launch:
The first edition of the Indian Super league is scheduled to take place this September. The inaugural league will be a concentrated effort of three main plays – IMG, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Star India. There are eight teams owned by various celebrities and these teams will have eight home grounds on which they’ll play their matches. . These teams — Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune — are owned by celebs and top businessmen who includes Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham, PVP Ventures, HarshavardhanNeotia, Sanjeev Goenka, Spanish football club Atletico Madrid, Venugopal Dhoot and others.
According to Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the EPL, there is opportunity to further develop the sport in India. “We know from our broadcast partner Star India and our work with the AIFF (All India Football Federation) on our long-established grassroots football project Premier Skills that we run in several locations across India, that the popularity of football, and the Premier League, is growing,” Scudamore said.
Uday Shankar, chief executive of Star India, which is also the broadcaster for the ISL, said the partnership will help create local heroes. “From a game that hobbled about on the fringes of Indian sports, there’s promise that this partnership will lift and reinvigorate football.”