This piece was published in Sportskeeda
Indian sports have taken a new leap in terms of getting a much-needed corporate push. If the Indian Premier League revolutionized the way the shorter version was played, the advent of Hero Hockey India League, India Badminton League, Indian Kabaddi League, Indian Super League, and Champions Tennis League over the last couple of years has convinced sports buffs that all sports can have their place under the sun.
The so-called ‘franchise model’ seem to be finding comfort across various sports, with now even an adrenaline-pumping sport like Supercross walking down the ‘franchise model’ path. The three-legged Ceat Pune Invitational Supercross League 2014 has attached a significant ‘first’ to itself with the hosting of this franchise type event. Seven teams – Bhalla Royale, Aranha Racing, SKP Highrollers, SAN Racing, Pashankar Racing, PB Racing, DSK Racing are vying for honours in this three-day event.
All team owners, who are from Pune, picked 40 national riders and 8 international rider following an auction held on 2nd November in Pune. Leading Indian riders like Harith Noah from TVS Racing, Pramod Joshua, V.S Naresh, R Natraj, and Madhu are participating in this championship.
This franchise-format Supercross event is being talked about as the best thing to have happened to the sport in the country. “It’s just what the doctor ordered. The start of this franchise format augurs well for Supercross in India. Our riders can really benefit as international riders are also taking part. This is an opportunity for the Indian riders to make the most of it,” says a FMSCI official.
Over the years, Supercross did not have much to offer to the winning riders prize money-wise. But Ceat Pune Invitational Supercross League 2014 is surely going to changed that. Bangalore’s Pramod Joshua emerged the most sought after rider with an auction fee of Rs.1,10,000 in the MX 1 category, which just sums the fact that money is fast coming into Supercross. “It’s a great thing to see riders win attractive prize money, which was not the case earlier. Riders work really hard and sacrifice many things to live their passion and it is nice riders are being taken good care off in this event. Earlier, riders would win a cash prize of Rs 15,000 to 20,000 but things are getting better,” the official said.
Clearly, the ‘franchise style’ Ceat Pune Invitational Supercross League 2014 will be a ‘big first’ for the development of the sport in the country. The event is set to be a game-changer for the sport of Supercross in the country.