Thiruvanthapuram: Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar is being joined by some of the biggest names in the Indian film industry as co-owners of Kerala Blasters, one of the most popular football clubs of the Indian Super League (ISL). A consortium of investors, including megastars Chiranjeevi and Akkineni Nagarjuna, leading film producer - Allu Arvind and industrialist & serial entrepreneur Nimmagadda Prasad have joined hands to purchase stake in Blasters Sports Pvt. Ltd., the owners of Kerala Blasters.
Sachin Tendulkar will continue to be a co-owner with Kerala Blasters, holding a significant stake. The new co-owners of Kerala Blasters were responsible for the turnaround of MAA Television Network Ltd. They recently unlocked value in the broadcast bouquet of the network with the sale of its four Telugu entertainment channels to Star TV Network. Kerala Blasters is the first investment in the growing sports business in the country for this consortium.
The new investors in Kerala Blasters were unveiled at a ceremony in Thiruvanthapuram.
In a symbolic gesture, Sachin, Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Allu Arvind and Nimmagadda Prasad signed a football sporting the Kerala Blasters logo. Earlier in the day, Sachin Tendulkar along with Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Allu Arvind and Nimmagadda Prasad met with the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri. Pinnarayi Vijayan at the state secretariat. They also had a meeting with Shri. Mather, President Kerala Football Association discussing the preparations for the third season of ISL. The ISL is scheduled to kick off from October 2016.
Commenting on the development, Sachin Tendulkar said, “We are beginning our third season in right earnest and have some of the biggest names coming on board as investors in Kerala Blasters. I welcome Chiranjeevi , Nagarjuna, Allu Arvind and Prasad to this exciting experience which is made more special with the faith and unique place that Kerala Blasters holds in the hearts of millions of its followers.”
One of the new investors in Kerala Blasters, megastar Chiranjeevi said, “I have been an aspiring footballer on the reel and I am very excited to be part of a popular club co-owned by Sachin Tendulkar. All of us in Kerala Blasters are committed to expanding the football base in the state and give the potential talent a platform to perform and excel.”
“I have been supporting sports in the country and I am excited to start with football and a very special football team – the Kerala Blasters. I am keenly looking forward to experience the craze for the game in the state and beyond and wish the team the very best,” added Akkineni Nagarjuna.
Commenting on his association with Kerala Blasters, Allu Arvind said, “I am very happy to strengthen my special relationship with Kerala by being a part of Kerala Blasters. It’s an exciting time for sports in this country and I am sure that all of us can work jointly towards ensuring that Indian football takes its rightful place in the world.”
Part of the consortium of new investors in Kerala Blasters, Nimmagadda Prasad said.
“It is our privilege to be associated with a leading football club in the country, co-owned by some of the greatest names in sports and entertainment. Kerala Blasters is in a unique position in terms of its large committed fan base and legendary names associated with it. It will be our sincere endeavour to realize the true potential of the club and consolidate our position in the hearts of the fans.”