· Puneri Paltan’s sponsorship revenue increased by 150% in season 5
· Puneri Paltan’s merchandise sales increased by whooping 2600% in season 5
Few years ago, no one would have imagined that Kabaddi would become the second most popular sport in India after cricket. Everyone in their lives have played Kabaddi at some or other point, but haven’t really taken the sport seriously. With the inception of Pro Kabaddi League, the entire scenario got changed. Before 2014, Kabaddi did not have much recall value, but today it has become a household name. It is commendable how PKL gradually gained viewership season by season and the 2017 finals became the most watched non-cricketing game by Indians. Sponsorship was a major problem in the first year due to lack of popularity among the audience. Sponsors initially were apprehensive to associate with a sport which wasn’t well known, but today with each season passing, more and more brands are looking forward to being associated with the PKL franchises. From having not a single sponsor in season one to being associated with national brands in season 5, Puneri Paltan has come a long way. Among all the teams that played, Puneri Paltan was one of the most popular teams in season 5 and a strong contender for the title. When it comes to sponsorship and being commercially successful, Puneri Paltan beat them all. The sponsorship revenue increased by 150% for the team this year as compared to previous year. Puneri Paltan was the only team which has successfully sold all the available sponsorship spots in the recently concluded PKL season 5.
This year the ticket sale was extremely good for Puneri Paltan. The Maharashtra Derby Match played between Puneri Paltan and U Mumba at Pune on 14th October, 2017 was houseful and tickets were sold out well in advance. This year team also witnessed maximum turn out of fans at Puneri Paltan’s home ground- Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune. Merchandise sales were also good and there was a whooping increase in sales by 2600%.
Speaking on the success of the team, Kailash Kandpal CEO of Puneri Paltan said, “Pro Kabaddi League Season 5 has been fabulous for us. Our progress has been good, from having no sponsors on board to having national brands like Syska, Force Motors and Kirloskar in season 5. The sponsors were delighted with team’s performance and were proud to be associated with a top performing team of PKL S5. Kabaddi is a sport that has a lot of potential to grow. Sponsors see this as an investment opportunity and as an avenue to increase their goodwill by supporting a homegrown sport.”
Puneri Paltan’s mascot Sheru was a huge success throughout the season. Sheru’s moves on peppy Marathi numbers during time outs made him a star. During the home leg matches of Puneri Paltan, fans were seen taking selfies with him and Sheru became a rage on social media.
Puneri Paltan has a strong fan base on social media. Their Facebook Page has about 957,102 likes, Instagram page has 43,000 followers and 80,000 followers on twitter. Many of Puneri Paltan fans were super active on social media during the matches and were wishing them luck. The fans also engaged with Puneri Paltan by taking part in various polls. Puneri Paltan sponsors were also extremely happy with the social media response. Sponsors were also actively promoting Puneri Paltan on their official social media handles. Continuous engagement with fans during the 3 months long league, increased the social media fan base of Puneri Paltan by 60%. Post the league also, the franchise is constantly engaging with its fans.