The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sponsors stay away from NFL

New Delhi: The eighth edition of the National Football League has started, but the AIFF has yet to find a sponsor for the mega event. AIFF sources say a deal may be cut by the middle of next month, but there’s no certainty on that.

AIFF’s marketing company Strata Sports had been negotiating with Reliance for a possible title sponsorship deal worth Rs 6 crore. This was first whittled down to Rs 4.5 crore (a ten per cent increase from the sponsorship deal with the Oil PSUs last year). However, that too was called off with the company hitting an internal roadblock.

Stung by this reversal, AIFF and Strata have opened negotiations with Hero Honda, Hindustan Lever, Pepsi and Samsung. The title sponsorship deal is now being offered at a further reduced rate of Rs. 3.5 crore.

Friday, AIFF and Strata suffered another setback with Samsung not agreeing to any further negotiations. It all now depends on Hero Honda and Hindustan Lever. Since Coca-Cola are an associate sponsor, there is little chance of Pepsi putting any money.

In the sixth NFL, the title sponsor —Tata — was finalised at the halfway stage. History may repeat itself this time also.

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