Karbonn Mobiles gets title sponsorship of Champions League T20 for Rs 150 mn

NEW DELHI: ESPN Star Sports, the commercial rights holder of Champions League Twenty20, has got Rs 150 million from handset manufacturer Karbonn Mobiles which has come in as title sponsor of the 2012 edition of the tournament.

The value of the deal is almost the same as Nokia had paid last year but much lower than Airtel?s five-year deal for Rs 1.70 billion. Airtel had ended its title sponsorship deal after two years, realising that the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) event is yet to catch the fancy of the audiences.

As part of the new deal, Karbonn Mobiles will have rights to on-ground title sponsorship with all its entitlements. The tournament will now be called Karbonn Champions League Twenty20.

"We have paid Rs 150 million for the one-year deal," a source in Karbonn Mobiles said.

The handset manufacturer is also negotiating with ESS for broadcast sponsorship. Karbonn Mobiles chairman Sudhir Hasija said, "The association with CLT20 is a matter of great pride for Karbonn Mobiles and it gives us a platform to create constructive fan engagement and, thus, generate a buzz around the brand Karbonn and the Brand CLT20."

The handset brand is also the associate on-ground sponsor of Indian Premier League (IPL). Karbonn is currently on the negotiating table with BCCI on the deal which expired with season 5 of the IPL.

ESPN Star Sports is in negotiations to rope in other sponsors for the event. ESPN Software India managing director Aloke Malik said that the tournament this year is likely to draw in more viewership as there will be participation from four IPL teams and teams from Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Karbonn will leverage CLT20 sponsorship by utilising the 360 degree communication mix with a focus on TV, print, digital and press.

For CLT20, Karbonn will extend the ?Karbonn Smart? brand extension offering new range of technologically advanced products along with a complete range of smart-feature phone segment as well.

The fourth edition of the Champions League Twenty20 will feature a total of 14 teams and 29 matches across four venues - Centurion, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

Karbonn Mobiles is looking at investing in sports properties beyond cricket such as hockey and boxing. "We have earmarked Rs 2 billion towards marketing this year," said Karbonn Mobiles managing director Pradeep Jain.

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