Pro-wrestling ropes in Patanjali as sponsor

MUMBAI: Sports marketing firm ProSportify, the promoter of Pro Wrestling League (PWL), has roped in Patanjali Ayurved as the title sponsor of the wrestling league for the next two years.

PWL season 2, which was originally slated to launch on December 15, was deferred by two weeks by the promoters keeping in mind the cash crunch in the market.

“We are very pleased with the sponsors’ response. Yes, we had to delay the season because of demonetisation, but now we have Patanjali as the title sponsor for at least two years and we have also signed Amul as co-sponsor and Essco,

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and Sunflame as associate sponsors,” said Vishal Gurnani, director of ProSportify.

“We are selling the ad rates at Rs 45,000 per 10 seconds, a definite jump from Rs 35,000 per slot in the last season. This is despite demonetisation, which made a lot of companies go slow on advertising. We are seeing a 120% jump in the revenues,” Gurnani said, refusing to share exact details.

Industry estimates put the total figure for PWL 2 at around Rs 20 crore. As per industry estimates, almost Rs 3,000 crore were spent on sports advertising in 2016 but close to 85% of it was corralled by cricket and other sports have a lot of ground to cover.

While a lot of sporting leagues have cropped up in the recent times, it’s only contact sports like Kabaddi, wrestling and mixed martial arts that have gained traction with the TV audiences.

PWL 2 has Indian wrestling sensation and Rio Olympic medal bronze-medallist Sakshi Malik and Phogat sisters, who came into limelight after Aamir Khan-starrer blockbuster biopic ‘Dangal.’

PWL 2 has six franchises — Delhi Sultans, UP Dangal, Haryana Hammers, NCR Punjab Royals, Mumbai Maharathi and Jaipur Ninjas.

The ownership of three teams — Mumbai, UP and Delhi — have changed from the previous season, while JSW Sports, which owned the Bangalore team, pulled out and it is now replaced by Jaipur owned by Ram Gupta.

A total of 54 wrestlers from India, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Colombia, Tunisia, Venezuela and Azerbaijan will participate in PWL 2.