New Delhi: Cash-strapped Indian Boxing Federation (IBF), which is yet to find a sponsor for next month’s Commonwealth Championships, today heaved a sigh of relief as it entered into a four-year marketing deal with sports management firm Percept here.
The Commonwealth Boxing Championships is scheduled to be held from March 10-18 here and the national federation is yet to find a sponsor but with this marketing deal with Percept, IBF is hoping things will heading towards the right way.
“We were looking for a marketing partner and finally we have this four-year deal with Percept today. Things are going in the right direction now. We will look to make things more professional from now onwards,” IBF Secretary General P K Muralidharan Raja said.
Joint managing director of Percept, Shailendra Singh said they would look to package and position boxing to create a market and the immediate focus would be the Commonwealth championship.
“In India people like entertainment not sports alone. So our role would be to position and package it in such a way that it becomes entertaining. Boxing as a sport has the maximum potential to be a great entertainer.
“Today we have entered into a four years marriage and we hope to convert it into a longer association. It will take time and effort, so we have to be patient,” he added.
Percept Sports Management Company currently has a million-dollar sponsorship deal with Beijing Olympic bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh. Raja also said that preparations for the commonwealth championship was going on in full swing and already more than hundred boxers have confirmed their participation.
“We have already 131 boxers from 19 countries confirming their participation in all the 10 events in the Commonwealth championship and we hope the numbers to go higher. In the last edition in 2007 in Liverpool, the numbers were below 100, so it shows boxers are looking forward to the tournament.
“The Indian boxers would be here in the capital three days before the championship as they would be practising in Patiala till then,” he said.
The Commonwealth championship is the biggest boxing event to be held in the country after the 2006 Women’s World Championships.
The participating countries in the championship include Canada, England, Pakistan and New Zealand among others.
India won a gold, two silver and six bronze medals in the previous edition of the event held in Liverpool.