Various sports leagues have been the talk of the town in the country ever since Indian Premier League’s debut in 2008. A lot of different sports have taken the IPL style league route in a bid to monetize the sport and make it more popular. Here are a few unknown things you should know about the Super Fight League (SFL) :
Latest launched league
Though Hockey launched one of the earliest leagues in the country by the name of Premier Hockey League, it was only after the success of IPL that stakeholders were in awe of a franchise based league system.
After IPL in 2008, A revamped Hockey League took birth in 2013 alongside the Indian Badminton League (now Premier Badmintion League) to be followed by the Pro Kabaddi League and the long mooted idea- the Indian Super League. Soon tennis too felt the bug and started with two leagues, namely the Champions Tennis League and the Indian Premier Tennis League.
When these leagues tasted early success, the sport of Wrestling too went for a face-lift courtesy of the Pro Wrestling League, launched back in 2015. PWL enjoyed one of the most successful maiden seasons alongside IPL and the Pro Kabaddi League, opening avenues for people to believe in the contemporary Indian sports, especially ones that revolve around physical power.
If this was enough evidence, an England based businessman Bill Dosanjh announced the launch of Super Fight League last year which was the first Mixed Martial Arts League in the World.
It’s finally going ahead
News broke in the mid of last year that the maiden MMA League is set to go ahead in India from August 26, 2016-October 1, 2016. But certain establishments pushed the league back to late last year but probably demonetization pegged it further back and is finally happening between January 20, 2017-February 25, 2017.
Eight Franchises in the opening edition
The franchise-based league will feature eight teams – Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai, Haryana, Bangalore, Punjab, Pune and Goa.
This gives the league one of the most widespread leagues.
Strong Corporate involvement
The eight teams and their owners are: Aditya Munjal of Hero Cycles (Delhi Heroes), Amit Burman of Dabur (Mumbai Maniacs), Keshav Bansal of Intex (Gujarat Warriors), Achin Kochar of VI-John (Sher-e-Punjab), Shreeram Suresh and Vinodini Suresh of 8K Miles Media (Bengaluru Yoddha), Jaskaran Punihani and Navraj Jaura of the Jaura Group and Deepak Saluja and Pramod Sharma of UV Media (UP Nawabs), Kanav Parwal and Raahil Bhatia of the SPA Capital & Belmaks Group (Haryana Sultans) and Preeti Mahapatra of Mahapatra Universal (Goa Pirates).
In what is a major early advantage, the league has 8 different franchises, giving the league a pan-India look. Not just that, the league has big corporate backing the teams which could ascertain strong marketing efforts, helping the league excel in its maiden year.
English Businessman founder alongside Pakistani boxer
English Businessman Bill Dosanjh and Pakistani boxer Aamir Khan are the founders and promoters of the league.
Despite adversities, the two have continued to believe in the mission and made it a reality.
Star Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt and businessman Raj Kundra were amongst the founders of the SFL which successfully concluded 3 seasons across the World. But with both facing certain issues they backed out of it and Bill had to take it upon himself to carry it forward.
Star figures attached
Ajay Devgan and Arjun Rampal have become the faces of the league with both present at the launch Press Conference. Randeep Hooda too has joined the bandwagon to add further star power to the league.
All fights to be held in Delhi
All the fights and bouts shall go ahead at the Siri Fort Complex in Delhi, the venue that plays host to the Delhi matches of the PBL (formerly IBL).
Only league to host matches across weekends
SFL is the only league in India to host matches over weekend. The SFL fights will happen on Friday-Saturday-Sunday. All other leagues have games/matches going across the week.
This may help the popularity of the league with more people being able to witness the action.
Team Spends low
SFL has one the lowest team spending with about 1.5 crore per year for franchise fees and another cap of 50 lakhs on players.
With a total spend of 2 crores per year and a few lakhs on marketing, there is every chance of teams breaking even soon and hence, be in there for long term. Unlike a few other sports leagues where the investments are sky-rocketing, this seems to be a rather sustainable model.
Destination UK next
The league is set to go ahead now in the UK post the conclusion of the India leg. The promoters have reportedly been in advanced talks with investors and zeroed-in on the 8 franchise teams in the region.
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