New Delhi: Hero MotoCorp Ltd, the world's largest two-wheeler manufacturer, has signed a three-year deal to be the title sponsor of the Indian Super League (ISL), the first-of-its-kind franchise-based football league in the country.
With this sponsorship, the much-awaited new football league, promoted by IMG-Reliance and Star India, will be called the ‘Hero Indian Super League'.
“Football is not just the world's most popular game; it has today become a phenomenon sweeping across continents. I witnessed this myself while moving from one Brazilian city to another to watch the games at the recent World Cup. Like every other part of the world, India is also in the grip of this magic called football as millions of youngsters across the country are taking to the game with enthusiasm," said Pawan Munjal, managing director and chief executive officer, Hero MotoCorp Ltd.
"The Indian Super League, therefore, is a timely initiative, and we are delighted to be partners in this journey for the common goal of promoting football in the country. As the Title Sponsor of the league, we are happy to being catalysts in bringing in much-needed professionalism and promote the game at the grass roots level to help identify and promote local talent,” he added.
Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India, said the Hero name brings with it credibility, commitment and passion to the cause of sports.
"It is great to see them take centre-forward position to support ISL and the future of Indian football. We feel honoured and privileged to present the Hero Indian Super League to the growing base of Indian football fans," he said.
Backed by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the Hero Indian Super League is set to usher a new era of football in India. Featuring eight new clubs, the Hero Indian Super League aims to promote the game of football across India, in the newer markets and foster young local talent to take up the sport professionally.
Each team at the Hero Indian Super League will have a minimum squad strength of 22 players, including one marquee player, seven internationals and 14 Indian talent. Additionally, a team can increase its squad by five more players of its choice, outside of the central player pool draft.
The eight clubs participating in the Hero Indian Super League includes, Atletico de Kolkata, Delhi Dynamos FC, NorthEast United FC, Kerala Blasters FC, Team Goa, Team Pune, Team Mumbai and Team Bangalore.