New Delhi: The country's largest realty firm DLF has decided to end its five-year long association with cricket tournament Indian Premier League as the title sponsor and did not renew its contract that was due by last month.
The company, however, said it will promote other sports and is currently exploring various such platforms for association. It had last week gifted luxury sports utility vehicle 'Audi Q5' to four Olympic medal winners from Haryana.
"We have just stepped off the IPL. Sponsoring IPL over the last five years was a strategic decision wherein we wanted to establish our brand presence across India as the leading real estate player," DLF Group Executive Director Rajeev Talwar told PTI.
The last date for renewal of the contract was 28 July and the company did not do it. The firm has the first right of refusal for title sponsorship of the Twenty20 league, Talwar said.
"Our IPO came in 2007, a year before the IPL started. We were very aggressive pan-India then. We had good presence in all big cities," he said.
DLF is now concentrating on those cities, where the company's core strength lies, he added.
"Currently we enjoy significant reach, brand recall and presence across the country. We believe that we have been able to achieve the desired objectives to a great extent," Talwar said, adding that the company would continue to nurture talent through various CSR initiatives undertaken by DLF Foundation.
The company has spent Rs 250 crore in five years for IPL, he added.
Talwar said, however, DLF will continue to be very active in promoting sports and encouraging healthy living.
"We are looking out for what is the big platform in the country. We want to promote different sports for a good, clean and healthy living, which we do in our all the townships also," he added.
When asked if the company has identified any other sports to nurture, he said the firm is assessing what kind of game is emerging in areas where the company has business operations.
"We are not for any franchise and we will not own any team," Talwar said, adding DLF was also exploring options on joining hands with any federation, academy or government.
Talking about spending on other sports, he said: "There is no limit and we have not earmarked anything, but it will be less than Rs 50 crore a year that we spent in IPL."
DLF is very active in the promotion of golf. It gives a prize money of around Rs 1 crore to the winner of DLF Masters, held in Gurgaon every year.
"The company is also one of the sponsors in this year's Davis Cup tennis tournament, which will be held in Chandigarh. We are spending Rs 2 crore in this," he said.
Besides, the company has associated itself with various other sports over the years. It had supported Haryana Open Badminton Championship and Delhi Football League among others.
As part of its idea to encourage sportspersons, DLF had last week gifted Audi Q5s to Olympic medalists — wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, badminton star Saina Nehwal and shooter Gagan Narang.
It also handed over Special Editions of Maruti Suzuki's mid-sized sedan SX4 cars to 15 sportspersons from Haryana who took part in the London Olympics, but could not win any medal.