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IPL: Mumbai Indians to achieve break even in 3 years
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Mumbai Indians' (MI) owner Nita Ambani expects the team to recover all its investments and achieve a break even in 3 years. MI is a key franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"We look at sustainability and focus on profitability in all our ventures. We are working on aggressive internal targets and we are confident of achieving them within the next 2-3 years," says Ambani in an email interview.

Unlike other franchises, MI is not looking to divest a stake in itself with the objective of bringing in funds. "We have not examined the option of raising funds through divestment. What drives us in this venture is the passion for cricket and how its sporting and entertainment value can make a difference to millions of people globally," she adds.

The Mukesh Ambani owned RIL won the bid for the Mumbai franchise of the IPL for $ 111.9 million for a 10 year period. While 10 per cent of this fee has to be paid to the IPL yearly, a franchise typically spends Rs 45-55 crore each year towards players fees, new players' acquisitions, marketing, stadium management and other administration costs.

In terms of revenues, franchises get 80 per cent of the global media rights fee. Out of this, 80 per cent is equally divided among all teams while the other 20 per cent is divided based on performance. The franchises also get 60 per cent of the central commercial revenues and generate their own revenues through team sponsorships.

MI made losses in the first edition of the IPL while the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders and Emerging Media's Rajasthan Royals registered profits. The economic correction and shifting the IPL to South Africa for the second edition has not made a dent to MI. The team is confident that the IPL will protect the financial interests of the franchises.

"A recession affects everyone. Speaking for MI, we believe we are prudent in our investments. Several new marquee brands are supporting MI this season even under a changed economic environment. It is a huge vote of confidence in the potential of the team under the leadership of Sachin Tendulkar," Ambani added.

The team has a number of South Africans on its side, which it believes could work in its favour since the tournament will be played there. JP Duminy, a recent addition to the team, was signed-on by MI in the auction earlier this year. MI already has South Africans Jonty Rhodes and Shaun Pollock on its rolls as coach and mentor respectively.

A players camp was held in Durban earlier this year for MI's team members. Confident of their success in IPL 2, a team official said, "On a scale of one to ten, we think we are 8+ confident on winning the second season."

Meanwhile, the title sponsor of MI, Idea Cellular, will launch a unique initiative to connect fans with their cricket super heroes. Cricket enthusiasts will get to call and SMS their stars, give them tips and suggestions, wish them Good Luck, and give other messages on phone.

Pradeep Shrivastava, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular, said, "Idea has constantly innovated to offer something new and different for mobile users in India . This is a first-of-its kind initiative connecting fans with Cricket stars. The communication underscores the power of a mobile telephony idea to unite all Indians behind one team in a way it has never been witnessed before."

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