BKT, the Indian tyre manufacturer, is to give its name to French football’s Ligue 2 in a title sponsorship deal that will begin in 2020-21.
The board of the French Professional League (LFP) has ratified a four-season agreement that will lead to the second tier being renamed the ‘Ligue 2 BKT’.
The Mumbai-based firm became the title sponsor of the Coupe de la Ligue, in a deal announced in September 2018. That agreement, which is worth around €3m ($3.3m) per year, was due to run until 2024 but the LFP opted to suspend future editions of the tournament given waning interest among broadcasters.
Announcing the Ligue 2 agreement today (Wednesday), the LFP said that BKT “wanted to continue its association with French professional football by becoming the Title Partner of another emblematic competition”.
BKT will replace Domino’s Pizza as the Ligue 2 title sponsor. The pizza delivery’s four-year agreement, which is reported to be worth €1.5m per season, expires at the end of the current 2020-21 season.
The LFP added: “Like the many activations that have been deployed by BKT around the Coupe de la Ligue, Ligue 2 will now benefit from the various original ideas that the company is creating to engage all football fans. While we wait for the Coupe de la Ligue BKT Final, the LFP looks forward to preparing the next season together with its partner and to the many activations for Ligue 2 BKT and its football fans.”
Didier Quillot, the LFP’s chief executive, described the deal as “a major sign of the growing attractiveness of French professional football, which sees a large Indian company renewing its confidence in the LFP to build its notoriety with the French public”.
Lucia Salmaso, chief executive at BKT Europe, remarked: “We are extremely happy to become Title Sponsor of Ligue 2 and very satisfied with the agreement reached with LFP. We will then continue this wonderful experience in French football, until the end of the 2023-2024 season.
“We are already Title Sponsors of the second Italian football championship, which is played in cities where agriculture – our primary market as manufacturer of Off-Highway tires and especially for agricultural vehicles – is among the most developed sectors.”
The French second division was without a title sponsor between 2008-09 and 2015-16. Telecoms firm Orange gave its name to the league between 2002-03 and 2007-08.