Hyderabad: Deccan Chargers, the cricket team owned by publisher Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd, said it will sign up more sponsors after it chose Emirates as the team sponsor on Wednesday, replacing Ultratech Cements Ltd, for the fifth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) that begins on 4 April.
Deccan Chargers is close to signing up three new sponsors, said E. Venkatram Reddy, chief operating officer of the IPL team, without disclosing names. Dubai-based Emirates will be the team sponsor of Deccan Chargers for the next three seasons, he said.
Emirates chose Deccan Chargers after its three-year sponsorship contract with Kings XI Punjab lapsed. The Dubai-based airline chose the Hyderabad team over other teams as it operates three flights from the southern city, said Roger Duthie, head of sponsorships at Emirates.
New backing: A file photo of the Deccan Chargers team at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Bangalore. Photo by Hindustan Times
The sponsorship will give Emirates access to the team’s players for its promotional activity and will be entitled to display its logo on the team apparel, stadia branding and match tickets.
“Over the years, we had a wonderful relationship with the Kings, they were great organization and I have complete respect for the Kings but there was a time when we needed an online team,” Duthie said, meaning a team based out of a city where Emirates runs operations from. He did not disclose the value of the deal.
Puma AG, Kingfisher, Mc Dowell’s No.1, Linc Pens, news channel TV5, BIG FM 92.7 and Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd also sponsor the Deccan Chargers currently.
Deccan Chargers is hoping for a revival in fortunes after last year’s IPL season, when it saw a “little drop” in sponsorship revenue.
The Hyderabad-based franchisee is focusing on a brand revival strategy and will play matches in other cities, including Visakhapatnam and Cuttack, to spread its base. Reddy said tickets are sold out within 48 hours in Visakhapatnam.
“This means they will get more revenues from these cities,” said an analyst with a large advertising media company, who did not want to be named as he works with the IPL franchisees.
“It makes sense for them to do it. You have got relatively large cities around Hyderabad. Bangalore and Bombay are filling up stadiums for all the matches because there is a large population coming in,” he said over telephone.
Reddy also denied reports of a stake sale in Deccan Chargers, saying the franchisee had posted growth of 15-20% over the previous year.
“Deccan Chargers is a brand of Deccan Chronicle. It is a part of the company. How will we sell it?” he said.
Shares of Deccan Chronicle Holdings fell 5.43% to end trading at Rs34.80 on a day the benchmark Sensex lost 0.79%.
Deccan Chronicle Holdings publishes the Deccan Chronicle and the Financial Chronicle, which compete with HT Media Ltd’s Hindustan Times and Mint in some markets.