Exclusive: The first few seasons of Pro Roll Ball are just about investments and taking it forward – Siddharth Mehta, Founder and CEO, Yuga Sports and Entertainment

SportsMint Media got an opportunity of conducting an exclusive interview with Mr Siddharth at the logo unveiling event in Mumbai.

Yuga Sports and Entertainment, one of the country’s premier athletic enterprises, is set to organize India’s elite high-speed competition, Pro Roll Ball. The captivating sport of Roll Ball, which is expanding internationally, will have its first international competition with Pro Roll Ball.

The first season of the premier competition will be held from November 20 to December 3, 2023. The action-packed 15-day tournament will have participants from 17 different countries.

Recently, at a ceremony helmed by Yuga Sports and Entertainment at ITC Grand Central, Parel, Mumbai, the logos and jerseys of the Pro Roll Ball league’s eight franchises were unveiled. The franchise owners were on the stage at the event wearing t-shirts showcasing the logos of their respective teams.

Along with the franchise owners, the event in Mumbai also witnessed the presence of Mr Siddharth Mehta, Founder and CEO of Yuga Sports and Entertainment, and SportsMint Media got the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with him.

1. Why Roll-Ball? A sport that has a very niche audience?

With respect to all kinds of leagues that are happening in the country today, I think this is the only sport that is left to catch the right eyeballs. So it has the speed, it has the aggression, it has the blood, and it has the sweat. It has everything you need to grab eyeballs day in and day out. We are trying to take the league to one of the top three leagues in the country in the next four years.

2. Did the advent of multiple franchise-based competitions also motivate you and your team to come up with Pro Roll Ball?

I’ve been a part of this sport for the last 12 to 13 years, so I know the sport very closely and I have helped them go international. We know how it’s gone from a very nascent stage to what it is today. We know the growth, there is a particular perspective that will help us go on a much larger scale.

3. How will the competition help athletes make money?

The best and the worst part, I would say, is that for sports in India, not many leagues, or rather, sports in India, are making any kind of money. So that’s one thing we are trying to focus on now. We have a kitty of INR 20 lakh, which was given in the auction. I think this is the first time, they will be getting paid for playing the game and in future, because of this, I feel more people will get motivated and be a part of the sport.

4. What would be the business model of this very competition?

We have various models, which will be along the same lines as any other leagues like the IPL, ISL, EPL, etc. Of course, we are not BCCI or cricket to get any media rights sold and also no one is keen to buy our media rights, as of now. So the first multiple seasons are only about investments and taking the competition forward.

5. Can you please name a couple of mediums that will help you gather revenue?

One of them is sponsorship and we are also looking forward to a lot of support from the local cities and states for the sponsorships as well as the FCTs to be put up on a TV channel. So for someone like us, I think it’s an uphill task for the next multiple seasons where a lot of investments will take place and then accordingly, we’ll go forward.

6. What approach will be followed while signing a brand as a sponsor?

Our biggest advantage is that we are working at ground level. We are not only concentrating on TV, we are concentrating on what can actually be done on the ground if someone is paying an ‘X’ amount, then at least the entity should be getting a 10x return as coverage. So, that’s how the whole thing is, and we are planning to continue on those lines.

7. How will you market the competition in the upcoming months?

Every franchise will have a brand ambassador and that’s one compulsion we have announced. So that’s one way we are trying to promote it and gather more attention. There are a lot of big names that we are trying to get in. So I think sooner or later all these names will be declared. So that will be a different launch with all the brand ambassadors. We will not be having a single brand ambassador, but every team will have a separate brand ambassador, so it will help us get more eyeballs.

8. How will you develop the sport at a grassroots level and how will it help the competition?

In any sport, if you’re strong on the grassroots level, if your base is strong, I think your sport is going to be stronger. In 20 years, the sport has reached 70 countries, so that’s something tremendous, and right now I think we are working on the same stage and we’re trying to move it forward. Now is the right time to commence this competition as we were planning to start the tournament earlier but due to the COVID-19 pandemic we couldn’t

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