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Mahindra & Mahindra takes a Southern detour

The SUV major is looking to deepen its association with the Sri Lankan market through cricket

Mona Mehta 9 August 2012


Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, India's leading SUV manufacturer has partnered with the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), a cricket league, as their title sponsors for Twenty-Twenty Cricket, which kicks off from August 11 and will be played over three weeks in Colombo and Kandy. With this tie up, the Sri Lanka Premier League will now be referred to as Mahindra Sri Lanka Premier League. The tournament will be telecast on Ten Sports and ESPN channels.

The inaugural edition of this League will feature seven provincial teams in a round-robin league format, with the winners having the distinction of playing in the Champions League Twenty-Twenty (CLT20) as one of the teams in the qualifiers. There will be 24 games in the Mahindra Sri Lanka Premier League and each team will be allowed a maximum of 18 players. Teams will be allowed to field a maximum of four foreign players per game with the remaining being local players. The Man of the Match will receive the title of 'Mahindra Man of the Match', while the `Man of the Tournament' will win himself an XUV500. Upali Dharmadasa, president of Sri Lanka Cricket, said, “Since the Mahindra brand is also a household name in Sri Lanka, we believe it is the perfect platform to take the message of the Sri Lanka Premier League, which is “Gama Rata Lokeya, Eka Karana” or “Province, Country, World, Become One” to the world.”

According to S. P. Shukla, President-Group Strategy and Chief Brand Officer, Mahindra Group, “Sri Lanka is a strategic market for the Mahindra Group, which is already an established name in the country and what better medium that cricket to connect and engage with audiences; as it is the most followed sport in the subcontinent with a fan base of approximately 1.5 billion across India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.” The investments through the Title Sponsorship will be to the tune of Rs.70 million.

Mahindra & Mahindra has sold around 1,000 tractors and 11,000 automobiles in Sri Lanka through its dealership network so far. Plan are on the anvil now to increase the dealership network by an additional 10% in the near future. Ruzbeh Irani, Chief Executive – International Operations (Automobile and Farm Sectors), Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Adds with respect to M&M's overseas plans, “We are also planning to focus strongly on the US market, mostly in Central America to expand our presence and increase dealership by an additional 10%. Currently, there are about 300 Mahindra & Mahindra dealers in the US. Importantly, we are contemplating immediate plans to foray into the the Europe market as well.” Sports have always been an integral part of the Mahindra's brand positioning strategy. The group's association with the Celtic football club, Canadian NASCAR, Moto GP and now the Sri Lanka Premier League underscore its desire to leverage sporting events, teams and associations to further its ambitions in its target markets. Mahindra looks forward to an enduring long-term partnership with the Sri Lanka Cricket Board.



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