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Business News/ Sports / Sports News/  Musician Badshah, Punit Balan buy Mumbai team franchise in Ultimate Kho Kho

NEW DELHI: Singer and musician Badshah along with film producer and sports team owner Punit Balan have bought into the sixth franchise of the upcoming Kho Kho league, Ultimate Kho Kho, backed by Dabur chairman Amit Burman. The two will co-own the Mumbai franchise in the league which is expected to begin later this year.

Badshah told Mint that the sport has huge potential and that he aims to inspire and build superstars in this indigenous sport through this association.

“I have an emotional connection with sports since I have grown up playing basketball myself. It is such a grassroots sport and we have this opportunity to make it go big. My mother also played kho kho. This is an adrenaline-packed, fast-paced indoor sport with extremely agile players. The culture of Mumbai is fast and efficient and that’s what we want this team to be," said Badshah.

He added, “How we plan to grow this is where Punit (Balan) comes in. He is an expert at creating sports teams and can amplify the whole reach of the sport and the team." Balan has owned teams in sporting leagues like badminton, tennis, table tennis and handball. “It’s very important to adopt the right approach if you want to grow something. I have been involved in developing sports through leagues in the past and now alongside Ultimate Kho Kho, I want to play a part in the sport’s journey to success."

The league’s CEO Tenzing Niyogi said, “These two popular names from the entertainment sector reflect the positioning and calibre of the league. The sport has deep roots in Maharashtra and a team that represents the state’s capital will surely help us bolster the popularity of the game."

The league had earlier brought on board corporates like Adani Group, GMR Group, Capri Global and KLO Sports. The Odisha government, through its sports development and promotion company, also owns a team in collaboration with steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India.

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) is the official broadcast partner for the event which is likely to begin this year. About 200 crore has been earmarked for the league, said its chief executive.

The size of the Indian sports industry was estimated to have surpassed 9,500 crore in 2021, said a report by GroupM titled ‘Sporting Nation in The Making’.

Varuni Khosla
Varuni Khosla is a journalist with close to 14 years of experience in writing business news stories for mainstream newspaper companies like Mint and The Economic Times. She reports and writes on luxury and lifestyle brands, hospitality and tourism news, the business of sports, the business of advertising and marketing and alcohol brands.
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Updated: 29 Jun 2022, 09:54 AM IST
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