The ISL, a joint property of IMG-Reliance and Star India, will kick off from October 12. Sponsored by Hero Motors, the league is made up of eight football franchisees - owned by corporate houses, Bollywood celebs, former Indian cricketers and other businessman - who will compete against each other. The IPL-inspired format is positioned as a parallel to club football played in the western countries. ISL is also a serious attempt to promote the game in India and create a lasting and exciting property.
Unfortunately, most people in cricket-crazy India do not have a football icon and unsurprisingly, most do not even know the name of all the members of the national football team. Sportspersons, fans and other stakeholders, however, hope that the ISL will change things.
The organisers have promised world-class broadcast quality and unparalleled entertainment by roping in popular foreign footballers too. Will advertisers back the game or wait and watch to see how the first edition pans out?
Vidhu Sagar, executive vice-president, Carat Media
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