Indian Football Association, the football governing body in West Bengal, has roped in advertising and event management group Accord Sports VDK as the commercial partners for the next four years.
As part of the ₹14 crore deal, Accord Sports will promote and manage IFA Shield, Calcutta Football League Premier Division, first division qualifying competition the Traders Cup, Women’s League and the Nursery League in West Bengal.
“They (Accord Sports) will try to rope in sponsors and will also have the telecast rights. We both will have to work in tandem. It’s a win-win situation for both of us,” IFA General Secretary Joydeep Mukherjee told PTI.
“Initially, they have taken over the responsibility of these tournaments for a period of four years. However, they will not interfere in any of our internal work.”
“We hope to bring in more and more corporates and will try to include all the tournaments. We hope it’s a long-term contract and benefits Bengal football,” said Accord Sports’ Sudip Ganguly, a sports management and promotion veteran for three decades.
“We will aim to bring in more sponsors and investment in the state football scene. This will make a huge difference in the improvement of the domestic football infrastructure as well.”
Subrata Dutta, the AIFF senior vice-president added, “It’s a historic day in the 128 years of IFA. For the first time, a state association has got a commercial partner. It’s like Football Sports Development Limited is the commercial partner of AIFF.”
West Bengal is often termed as a football haven in India and IFA’s deal with a new commercial partner will ensure that local talent will get good exposure and help the sport to grow not only in the State, but the nation as well.