Airtel becomes Champions League Twenty20 title sponsor

Asia’s leading integrated telecom services provider, Airtel, on Thursday signed a five-year deal with ESPN STAR Sports to become title sponsors of Champions League Twenty20.

Under the deal, which the industry sources said is in the rage of Rs 170 crore, Airtel will have rights on ground title sponsorship for a period of five years starting this year.

Officials of both Airtel and ESPN STAR Sports, commercial partners of Champions League T20, however, refused to divulge the exact amount of the deal.

A total 12 teams from seven Test playing nations will participate in the inaugural edition, which will be played across three venues in India — Bangalore, New Delhi and Hyderabad — from October 8.

The 16-day tournament, which will now be called Airtel Champions League Twenty20, will have 23 matches.

Commenting on the deal, Shireesh Joshi, Marketing Director Bharti Airtel said, “We are delighted to announce our partnership with ESPN on the title sponsorship of Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament. We have seen a great synergy between our brand and cricket, since both cater and connect to a wide spectrum of consumer segments.

“This synergy combined with the success of the Twenty20 format and the growing popularity of club cricket in India makes this a great opportunity for us to partner.”

RC Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, “We are delighted to have Airtel come on board as the title sponsor of the League. It is our privilege to have one of the world’s leading integrated telecom services providers join hands with us and I extend a hearty welcome on behalf of the entire ESPN STAR Sports family.

“We have always believed that this League will stand out as a premier international cricket property in the annual calendar of international cricket and this landmark partnership vindicates that stand. I am confident that together we will create a wonderful experience for the cricket fan and help make this tournament even bigger in the days to come.”

Sundar Raman, Chief Executive Officer, Champions League Twenty20, said, “I am truly happy to have Asia’s leading integrated telecom services provider Airtel as the title sponsor for the Champions League Twenty20. The tournament will feature the best of the best in Twenty20 teams from across the world and is sure to enthrall the cricket loving fans in India and across the world.”

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