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KPL: Mantri Developers bags title sponsorship for Rs 11.11 cr
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Seventy five lakh rupees per year was the minimum bid for title sponsorship of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL), but when the bids were opened at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday evening, the Sushil Mantri-promoted Mantri Developers Private Ltd had all but tripled that figure, buying the five-year rights for a staggering Rs 11.11 crore - Rs 2.22 crore a year.

With the Brigade Group and the Puravankara Group acquiring the two Bangalore franchisees, the successful sponsorship bid by Mantri Developers marks the entry of another real estate player into the KPL.

"We were always looking to bag the title sponsorship, that's why we didn't bid for the teams. From a branding standpoint, the title sponsorship would give the company greater mileage and create better brand awareness in the state. I believe that KPL will gradually attain in Karnataka the same success that IPL has in India," said Sushil Mantri, chairman and managing director, Mantri Developers.

The irony lies in the fact that the KPL organizers will plough part of the money brought in by the title sponsors back to the franchisees, which means at least three real estate players will benefit.

The eight franchisees, who between them shelled out Rs 35 crore for five-year rights to their respective franchisees, are entitled to roughly 50 per cent of the title sponsorship amount as per the revenue sharing agreement signed by all parties. The money will be distributed equally among the franchisees.

The sponsors have been given time until Tuesday evening to come up with their preferred choice of name for the tournament. The title of the tournament is expected to be either Mantri KPL or Mantri's KPL.

Apparently, Mantri Developers were the sole bidders. A few other companies had shown interest but in the end didn't submit the bid, it is learnt. Bids have also been invited for associate sponsorship rights and they will be opened on August 19. There will be four associate sponsors in all.

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