The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has signed a long-term extension to its deal with sports management and marketing agency Sportzlive for the commercial rights to its Premier Badminton League (PBL) franchise-based competition.
In September 2015, Sportzlive agreed a deal to support the relaunch of the PBL, which ran from January 2-17 this year, more than two years after the inaugural event took place in August 2013.
The revived competition featured six franchise teams, each of which was able to feature players from India as well as other professionals from around the world. Delhi Acers won this year’s competition, beating Mumbai Rockets 4-3 in the title match.
According to Indian news outlet Everything Experiential, Sportzlive will continue to support the contest as a marketing and commercial partner, building on an initial remit set last year to approach corporates, brands and business owners for sponsorship rights and franchisee slots in the league.
“BAI, as the governing body for badminton in India, is committed to the growth of the sport in India, and is extremely pleased to partner with Sportzlive in its endeavours to grow our sport in India,” BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta said.
“The recent performance of our players in the Olympics, and the Super Series events has strengthened our resolve to continue building the sporting ecosystem for badminton through such events and partnerships.”
Atul Pande, managing director of Sportzlive, added: “We have been part of the first edition of the league as a commercial partner. We hope to make PBL one of the most admired leagues of the country by bringing the best players of the world to take part.”
This year’s contest featured a host of leading players, including Lee Chong Wei who is currently world No.1 in the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) men’s single rankings. India’s Saina Nehwal (pictured) and Pusarla Sindhu, both of whom are currently in the BWF’s world top-10 women's singles, also took part in the revived event.