New Delhi: The recently promoted I-League outfit TRAU FC has surprised all by managing to get a sponsor as Aciesta Sports Alliance -- a Kolkata based sports management & development firm -- has come forward to become their title sponsor. At a time when even the top clubs have failed to get sponsors, this comes as a pleasant surprise.
Speaking to IANS, Arijit Mukherjee -- Managing Director of Aciesta Sports Alliance -- said that the reason behind them sponsoring the club is that I-League teams are better investment opportunity as one can work with grassroot level talents.
"I-League club are better investment opportunity or you can say a better platform to take up grassroot level talents or youths. New players coming in may later on go on to ISL, you can see the trends for the last five six years, that's how it has happened. The players are being produced by I-League clubs. So for me, this was always the right platform. That's the reason that we thought of starting with I-League," he said.
While, Mukherjee did not rule out the possibility of associating with bigger clubs like Mohun Bagan or East Bengal in future, he feels that at the moment being a budding company, it's better to go with a new club rather than a big name.
"There are various reasons when we look to invest into any entity, there are lots of thing we looked into. First of all we are a budding company, we are a sports management firm, we are looking to develop grassroot football and take it to a different level, making sure that the kids go and play. TRAU is also a new club which has just come up (in the I-League). So this matches our philosophy because we are also a new company and we are coming on to board with a new entrant," he explained.
"Clubs like Mohun Bagan or East Bengal, may be, would be the next step. I am not counting that out but there are lots of things which are involved here. The space to work, the ideas which we can inculcate into a club which has just come up. May be show to the Indian football industry, may be we try to enhance the Indian football industry through merchandising, through pan-engagement.
"There are lots of things which we can work on. We just get that bit of independence when we do it here (with a new club). So, that is one of the biggest reasons, because the budget is much higher for a club like Mohun Bagan or East Bengal. Secondly, we get a chance to experiment, when we are into the first year, we can have a trial and error run, which makes it much more easier for us to invest in a club which just come up."
He also did not rule out the possibility of joining the ISL as a sponsor.
"If we have an idea and see that TRAU is building up to the vision we have and our visions are matching may be we will try to invest into TRAU and take it to the ISL by 2022-23 season. By that time ISL will have a promotional system in place as per the roadmap of the AFC.
"There are lot of opportunities, I will not close down any opportunity. We are a budding company and we are looking to go in a very articulate manner. We have lot of options and we will keep all options open," he pointed out.