Sahara Matribhumi becomes Title sponsor of Bangladesh Cricket Team for $9.4m
Sahara Matribhumi Development Corporation is on the way to become the title sponsor of Bangladesh National Cricket Team.
Sahara Matribhumi, the Bangladesh subsidiary of Sahara group, has made an offer of approximately $9.4 million for the sponsorship of the Bangladesh team for a four-year period. The bid was substantially higher than the $ 3.4 million offered by the previous sponsors, Grameenphone, and $4 million offered by Robi, another telecom company.
Sheikh Fazle Hossain Fahim was made the director of the company.
The company will invest $130 million initially in different sectors including new Dhaka project, Township Business, Infrastructure development, education, health and tourism and the investment will increase gradually.
Subrata Roy Sahara established Sahara India Pariwar in 1978. It is a major business conglomerate in India with operations in multiple sectors, including financial services, life insurance, mutual funds, housing finance, print and television news media, entertainment channels, cinema production, healthcare, sports, and information technology.
The group has 4,163 establishments across India serving over 7.10 crore customers with over 1 million workers.
Sahara is based upon the ethos of a family (the reason why the group is called a ‘Pariwar’–family, in Hindi) and was termed by the Time magazine as ‘the second largest employer in India after the Indian Railways’.
BCB president Mustafa Kamal said that while no decision has been made yet on which offer to accept, Sahara’s bid of approximately $2.3 million a year, if finalised, would be beneficial for Bangladesh cricket.
“The national team sponsorship, which is the main component of the tenders that we had invited, has been offered 2.3 million dollars per year by Sahara,” Kamal said. “We expect the revenue to be around Tk 110 crore during this four-year period. It was unimaginable a few years ago but more than the money, I think it will be a turning point if we can have Sahara with us.
“All the tenders are for a four-year period. I hope that we can finalise the deals in the next few days. We haven’t made a decision on the tenders; I’m just letting you know what is the highest we’ve got.”
Apart from the national team sponsorship, Sahara was the only company to bid for the sponsorship rights of the National Cricket Academy at a price of $130,000 per year.
Last week, Sahara group chairman Subrata Roy had said in Dhaka that his company was interested in investing in Bangladesh cricket. Speaking at an event, he said that it ‘may be possible’ for Sahara to sponsor the Bangladesh team. “The Sahara logo is seen on the jerseys of Indian cricket team,” he said then. “Though I am not announcing it right now, but I can say it may be possible to see the same logo on the jersey of Bangladesh cricket team.”