After two postponements, the Indian Badminton League (IBL) on Wednesday finally took a step forward as they announced its first franchise - the PVP Group that successfully bid for the Hyderabad Hotshots.
A Hyderabad-based multi business house that has interest in realty, media and entertainment and particularly Bollywood, PVP Group makes its debut in sports league and comes with no previous connect with the sport.
Speaking on its association with Badminton and IBL, Chairman of PVP Group, Prasad V Potluri, said: "We are extremely delighted with our association with the Indian Badminton League.
"PVP Group aims to utilise this platform and will ensure that Badminton in India grows and continues to produce world champions. Badminton has brought huge laurels for India in the past and is again capturing the imagination of the masses through the achievements of stars like Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa and others.
"PVP is confident that the IBL will serve as a great platform to promote and reward both established players and upcoming ones," he added.
Speaking on their decision to buy Hyderabad Hotshots, Potluri said: "Sports is an integral part of the Consumption story in India. It's a logical expansion of our Media & Entertainment business to pitch for a badminton team and enter the sports entertainment business."
The IBL was proposed during the Senior National Championship in December last year but the ambitious project was postponed twice from February to June, and then from June to August 14-31.
Sporty Solutions, who are the 'Commercial Partner' for IBL, also could not announce the names of the six franchise owners and the date for the players' auction.
Ashish Chadha, CEO, Sporty Solutionz, said, "We are proud to be associated with PVP Group and them coming on board as the owners of Hyderabad Hotshots."
"They bring enormous clout in the entertainment industry and we hope it will boost our efforts to support and promote badminton in a zany and exciting format," Chadha said.
The USD 1-million Indian Badminton League, which will feature six franchises and will run for 18 days, is set to be launched on August 14 with some high-voltage action expected between PVR Ventures' Hyderabad Hotshots and Karnataka Kings.
Each franchise will host a two-day leg and the League will showcase a grand total of 90 matches. The top four franchises will clash in the semifinals and the winners will meet in the grand final on August 31 in Mumbai.
Badminton Association of India (BAI) President, Dr Akhilesh Das Gupta, said, "We welcome Hyderabad-based PVP Group into the badminton family. Hyderabad deserves a great franchise as they are one of the leading nurseries for badminton in India, and I'm confident that PVP Group will support the game in a big way."