California-based IT services and solutions firm UST Global has signed an agreement to be one of the sponsors of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee Chennai Super Kings (CSK), owned by Chennai-based India Cements.
The sponsorship deal, announced today, comes at a time when the brand has been in the news since last year when team principal Gurunath Meiyyapan was implicated in the spot fixing and betting scandal and its associate sponsor Usha International has reportedly decided not to renew its deal with the franchise as associate sponsor.
The announcement was today made during a press conference in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, ahead of the seventh edition of the IPL, said a press note. It is a three year deal beginning in April 2014 with the two-time IPL champions. As per the agreement, UST Global's logo would appear on the leading arm of the playing shirt, and on the back of the team's helmets and caps.
CSK is expected to begin their IPL 7 campaign against the Kings XI Punjab at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on April 18.
"I am delighted to be announcing this partnership with the Chennai Super Kings on the eve of the seventh edition of the IPL, Chennai Super Kings are innovators and pioneers of what has become one of the most valuable sports leagues in the world, and an ideal partner for our expanding business," said Sajan Pillai, CEO of UST Global.
"We believe that this landmark agreement will offer us leverage into the league's huge global audience, especially in key markets across the Indian Subcontinent and Asia to effectively promote our end-to-end IT services and solutions. We look forward to working with the Chennai Super Kings team," he added. Pillai, along with CSK captain MS Dhoni, unveiled the new playing shirt of the team.
Rakesh Singh, president of marketing at India Cements - owners of the CSK franchise, said: "We are proud to be associated with and happy to welcome UST Global as one of our principal sponsors. I am sure that this association with an organization that offers information technology solutions and services to Global 1000 companies, will enhance Chennai Super Kings' brand value and widen our fan base in the Middle East."
"As a brand, the Chennai Super Kings has over the years constantly innovated and created many platforms to spread the game amongst its fans. As with our other sponsors, we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with UST Global and we are sure that this association will accelerate our engagement with a whole new fan base," he added.
The Supreme Court has recently allowed the team, along with another franchisee, Rajasthan Royals, to participate in the IPL 7, even though it has suggested earlier to suspend both the teams.
According to recent reports, Usha International has opted out as associate sponsors of CSK. The main sponsors of CSK till recently include telecom operator Aircel, sports goods manufacturerand marketer Reebok, Hinduja Group firm Gulf Oil and Pepsico (7Up).