July 02, 2015:
The stage is set for a thrilling competition of gridiron football, in Pune next week. 32 teams from across some of the biggest names in the city will assemble at the Police Grounds in Shivajinagar for a unique experience on the 5th of July.
Riding a steady wave of support that sweeping its way, EFLI will look to turn this event into a big success for the teams and the league.
These early adopters will blood eager young men into this brutally physical contest of labour and passion as they seek to embrace the special thrills of being in the midst of this confrontational sport.
Intermedia Cable Communications has happily agreed to be the title sponsor of this spectacular event, meant to take the sport into the people.
The event will mark yet another stopover on a journey into the hearts and minds of Indian fans, most of whom have barely an idea of this great American sport.
Across homes, schools and colleges of America, football is as crazily followed as is cricket in India. There are two strong leagues – the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL) – that occupy large acres of space in the minds of American consumers.
The EFLI is confident that this level of penetration and success can be replicated in sports hungry India, drawing audiences through the power of human confrontation.
The sheer physicality and pace of the game make it a grand spectacle. Parents and children in the USA tend to be diehard fans of the teams within their communities – be it school, college or a professional team.
Annually, the Superbowl draws massive crowds at the venue and millions watch it on television around the globe. The event in 2015 was supposed to have enjoyed viewership in the region of 200mn with an average 30 second commercial spot costing nearly $5mn to advertisers.
The cheapest ticket to the event is supposed to be in excess of $10,000 with the most expensive seats going at nearly $21,000. It remains to be seen if the game can enjoy similar popularity and commercial acclaim in India, but for now, the EFLI is taking baby steps by following an inclusive approach.
The promoters of the Indian league have been grinding away quietly, working their way through schools, colleges and universities as they seek to prepare the ground for a sustainable future for the sport in India.
The corporate event in Pune next week is another initiative to include the community in building interest and awareness in the sport for the Indian market.