₹48 crore purse to see kabaddi’s first crorepati?

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Nitin Tomar goes to Team Uttar Pradesh for Rs 93 lakh. The debate continues. Will the Rs 48 crore Pro Kabaddi League season five see a crorepati player this season?

The steady and systematic rise of the game has put Tomar closest to that magic eight-digit figure. Looks tough for another player to come closer. As the sport is getting lucrative for all constituents with each passing season, stakeholders are ready to raise their spending. However, it’s Rs 4 crore auction purse limit that will be reigning in the franchise strategists from going all-out on a single star player. Each franchisee has to buy a minimum of 18 players from their auction purse.

Still, the fast-emerging commercial dynamics might in season five see Tomar’s gross earnings from the sport – auction purse and sponsorships – surpass Rs 1 Crore figure. “Kabaddi is an establishes commercial sport, now.  Aggressive media and operations strategies have established kabaddi as officially No. 2 sport in the country. The rise in values is seen with Rs 60 crore per annum title signing with Vivo. Next, come players. The headlines post auction are making Tomar the talking point for the day. That transforms a sports star into a brand icon. Kabaddi has a niche market in the country. That particular segment has a ready acceptance for kabaddi stars,” says Ashish Chadha, sports market veteran and Sporty Solutionz Chief Executive.

The sport this year is seeing unprecedented numbers – some of them being unprecedented for any sports league in India.

Among the foreign players, Iranians drew the best bid with Abozar Mohajermighani going to Gujarat for Rs 50 lakh.

InsideSport had reported on Monday that there will be no takers for Pakistan players. Franchises’ fears were true and valid. On the first day of the auction, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel clarified that the Pakistan kabaddi players will not be allowed to play on Indian soil.

On Monday Sports Minister Vijay Goel had said, “The organisers can call them (Pakistani players) but they can’t make them play. Even if they are selected, Government of India will decide whether they are allowed to play or not. Until and unless Pakistan gets rid of terrorism, it is impossible for Pakistan to play in India.”

The numbers game has just begun. Next on the cards will be major tie-ups with sponsors. The tone is set up by the Vivo-PKL title deal. That also gives the franchises a strong platform to enhance their sponsorship bids. Kabaddi has graduated from big headlines to full page features and displays in newspapers. The sport has now arrived. Indeed. From where all graphs are set for an upward movement. The sport for that just needs to stay on the course it has taken.