The top-flight ISL club Odisha FC has inked a commercial deal with the British-based company India Business Group (IBG). The deal focuses on promoting commercial relationships between India and the UK.
According to the Memo of Understanding (MOU), both sides will work together to implement better health, social and economic aids for Odisha’s diverse communities.
“This is truly exciting for India and UK relations,” said IBG’s chair, Professor Lord Patel of Bradford. “We know the success of the IPL (Indian Premier League), and the soccer league has huge ambitions to mirror that. Odisha’s at the forefront of those efforts. India is a sport-loving nation, and by working with clubs like Watford FC and having legends from Spain on-side, this is Odisha FC’s message of intent. But never forget that football is a global business, and communities will thrive when business deals are struck to benefit them.”
“IBG’s expertise in having a foot in both halves means we’ll be able to advise, introduce and cement relationships which will embody in spirit and action Prime Minister Modi’s vision of a living bridge between our two great nations.”
Lord Patel, a former vice-president of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), believes this new connection will create opportunities.
In the previous year, Odisha FC roped in finance and sports consultant, Mr Raj Athwal, as the president. Athwal has experience working with first-class English and Scottish football clubs and coaches.
“Soccer is more than just two rival teams battling to win a game,” he said. “We only have to look at Manchester United and England star, Marcus Rashford, to know footballers do great things for their communities in which they are invested. They’re considered as role models, and young people want to copy their heroes, and we’ve seen non-UK men and women come to play for British clubs and vice-versa.”
Odisha FC has already been contributing a lot when it comes to Indian sport as a whole. Right from sponsoring both Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams to providing various finances and other aids across sports in the country. This would be another big contribution from the sporting state for the country as football sees itself becoming more and more popular in the upcoming years in India.