Biyani wooing Sachin with a bright Future
MUMBAI: In a first in the world of Indian sport, a cricketer may end up being a player and his own boss. The Kishore Biyani-owned Future Group, which has expressed interest in becoming a franchisee of BCCI’s home league initiative — Indian Premier League (IPL) — is currently in talks with Sachin Tendulkar to look at jointly bidding to own the Mumbai team.
Sources at Future Group confirmed to ET that the talks were on, and that the company has been in talks with BCCI and simultaneously with Sachin to own a minority stake.
The rationale is simple: Sachin’s presence and the ownership status mean the valuation of the team would rise instantly and the Future Group can use Sachin to rope in other cricketers.
For Sachin, the deal spells money. The stake in the Mumbai team will ensure the cricketer a fixed fee on an annual basis, plus a variable component depending on the profits the team garners. However, sources pointed out that the structure of the deal was still being worked upon.
But Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani said, “We do not comment on speculation.” Future Group, along with the Manipal Group, has already entered into a joint venture with Sachin for its new sports initiative, which entails the launch of a variety of products in the health supplement, sports goods, fitness equipment and lifestyle accessories categories.
The products will be marketed under the brand names S Drive and Sach, which would be retailed across the multiple Future Group formats like Big Bazaar, Central, Planet Sports, Manipal Cure & Care.
The deal with Future secures Sachin’s position, both as an investment and a retirement plan. Several attempts to contact Sachin were in vain, as he was on his way to Gwalior for the fourth one-dayer against Pakistan.
BCCI has currently put its base price for owning a team at $50 million for 10 years, but insiders say the price could be anywhere between $75 million and $90 million.
Meanwhile, the IPL governing council has invited the three broadcasters — ESPN Star, Nimbus Sports and Sony Entertainment Television — for making presentations for awarding the broadcast and media rights on November 17.
The presentations will include IPL’s promotional strategy, an advertising rate projection and other ancillary and programming support. The meeting will essentially discuss non-financial issues such as a broadcaster’s capabilities. The tender document for the bid will be available from November 21 to December 7. The winner of the media rights will be announced by the BCCI on the December 7.
Once the BCCI decides on the franchisees who will own the eight different teams, it will provide a pool of players — comprising the national players, Ranji Trophy players as well as the 29 international players who have signed up for the league — who will be auctioned as planned.
The Future Group is being looked at as the front runner for the Mumbai team, while Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher is said to be the front runner for the Bangalore team.