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Emirates is title sponsor of Kings XI Punjab
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MUMBAI: Kings XI Punjab, the Mohali team for Indian Premier League (IPL), has roped in Dubai-based Emirates as its title sponsor.

The franchise, owned by Bombay Dyeing deputy MD Ness Wadia, actress Preity Zinta, Dabur India director Mohit Burman and Apeejay Surrendra Group chairman Karan Paul, will see a 15 per cent jump in its sponsorship revenues even as it has lined up a slate of nine sponsors for the second edition of the IPL.

"This year the monies from television rights are crucial. In fact, this will be the main source of revenue. Having said that, sponsorship revenue has gone up by around 15 per cent. What we will get from ticket sales is hard to predict at this stage," Burman tells Indiantelevision.com.

KPH Dream Cricket Private Ltd, the company under which Kings XI Punjab is housed, has inked a three-year, multi-million dollar deal with Emirates. This is the first time that the airlines company, which sponsors several sporting events globally, is spending money on cricket in India.

Kings XI Punjab's other sponsors include Hinduja Group’s Gulf Oil (team partner), Nimbooz (beverage sponsor), Netlinkblue (team sponsor), Springbok International (official sponsor), Dabur Glucose (team sponsor) and Orbit (chewing gum). Companies that have returned as sponsors are Royal Challenge (official games for challenge partner) and Reebok ( team’s apparel partner).

"We are also in the process of signing up a company for non apparel merchandise," says Burman.

So how has the downturn affected the IPL franchises in lining up sponsors? Says Zinta, "A lot of our earlier deals revolved around activation. Since the event is happening in South Africa, some of those were cancelled. However we waited before signing new partners, as we wanted to be associated with top of the line brands.”

Kings XI Punjab has relaunched its website, www.kxip. The team members will contribute to the website with opinions, video and blog postings. Sreesanth will be the face of the site’s online community. Apart from having his own column, he will also do a special video before the start of each match.

"A mobile site will launch in the next few days. The franchise will also set up a fan-networking portal a day before the event kicks off," Burman says.

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