SFL co-founder Bill Dosanjh confirmed the development to InsideSport, adding that it is the first time that Vivo is sponsoring a sport other than cricket. Vivo is also the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL), India’s biggest sports league which had nearly 350 million viewers last year.
SFL is far from being in that league, though. The league is being broadcast on Sony Network, which has been focused on acquiring properties in combat sport.
Donsanjh said that the league has been getting a very good response online and 300,000-400,000 people were regularly watching the fights online. “It is just about 2 per cent of all the following that our Bollywood star team owners have on social media,” he said, hoping that it will grow rapidly.
The owners of the eight teams of SFL include Bollywood stars like Ajay Devgn, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, and Tiger Shroff. Two brothers of another Bollywood star Jacqueline Fernandes are also owners of the Goa SFL team. All their presence is helping take the league among the masses. Their online presence is also being used to drum up the fan base of the league.
Sony’s 10-year rights for the IPL come to an end this year and the BCCI has set in motion the process of sell the rights for the next 10 years.