Since the new season got announced I wanted to try and cover it in some kind of way. So here goes…
What is ProKabaddi?
ProKabaddi league (PKL) is a Kabaddi league in India which started in 2014, (What is Kabaddi?). Since then there have been 4 seasons with two seasons taking place in 2016 and the fifth due to start in July 2017.
Since its introduction, the ProKabaddi league has taken off and has become the second most watched sport in India after only cricket. With international players from the likes of Iran, Korea and Thailand, the league has had a positive global effect too.
The sport is played in the international style format (see: International Kabaddi Rules) and the league structure is much like the acclaimed cricket version, the IPL. 8 teams battle it out to finish in the top 4, with the top 4 teams going into the semi finals, and then the winners compete in the final to see who will be crowned ProKabaddi champions.
Due to the success of the first four seasons, ProKabaddi has linked up with new sponsors VIVO (telecommunications company) in a 5 year deal worth around 35 million pounds!
- Okay so it doesn’t compare at all to the Premier league in football but considering rival company OPPO signed a 5 year deal to sponsor the India cricket team for around 120 million pounds, 35 million is a very large amount for such a niche sport.
As well as new sponsors, there will be 4 new teams from the states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Harayana and Uttar Pradesh. Adding to existing teams from cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Jaipur.
- The added benefit of having more teams is that naturally more players will be able to play and squad depth will have to be thickened. Thus paving the way for new young Kabaddi players in India as well as a lot more scope for international players to take part.
With 135 PKL matches to be played across 3 months, there is sure going to be a lot of newspaper and internet coverage, which can only bode well for the sport.
ProKabaddi Auction Preview