Internet Desk: Volleyball Federation of India (VFI) and Sportzlive, a company focused on investing and creating Sports IPR, today announced the launch of ‘iv League‘, a franchise based league for Women’s, Men’s and Beach Volleyball. The league, under the aegis of Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), will unleash a Volleyball revolution in the country and will be played in three stages starting July 2016.
The ‘iv League‘ will commence with India’s first ever Women league in any sport, followed by a professional Men’s League in October 2016. India’s first uniquely planned Beach League- a never seen before concept in the country, will be played in January 2017 rounding off at least 40 days of enthralling Volleyball action.
Launching the league, Chaudhury Avadesh Kumar, President, VFI, said, “Volleyball is one of the most popular and most played game in the world- with about 900 million players globally while in India the sport enjoys a strong following in both rural and urban India. We believe that the sport, which is played in over 200 countries, presents an opportunity to inspire younger generations. Our aim is not only to revitalize the sport but to make Volleyball a viable career option for budding players.”
The three leagues which will have a minimum of 6 city based franchises each will be played in a round robin format followed by knock out matches, travelling the length and the breadth of the country in a caravan format. Each team will host a minimum of 4 international players including an international ‘marquee player’ all selected through a draft and on a professional contract and on advice of the Volleyball Federation of India.
Sportzlive, led by Atul Pande, former CEO of Ten Sports and Prasad Mangipudi who has more than 25 years of marketing experience has partnered with the VFI post an intensive process that commenced in October 2015 and concluded earlier this year. By partnering with the VFI, the organization aims to build a robust management model for the sport of Volleyball. The company will be responsible for overall management of the league including live production and broadcast rights management, sponsors outreach and branding and marketing of the ‘iv League.‘
Atul Pande, Promoter, Sportzlive, said, “The Indian market is poised for a larger sports ecosystem and the creation of such leagues will eventually enhance the quality of specific sports played in the region. Sportzlive intends to bring in professionalism and innovation to sports to create value for all stakeholders – the federations, players, team owners, sponsors and most importantly the fans. The ‘iv League’ will inspire next generation to take up the sport in large numbers.”
Vineet, a member of the Indian Volleyball team, said, “Thanks to the VFI and Sportzlive, we will get to be a part of a global professional league. Playing with the best of Volleyball talent will not only help us train better but will also give exposure to the young talent in the country.”
Pooja, part of the National Women’s Volleyball team, said, “I am delighted to have a first ever league for Women in India. The league will encourage more and more women to take up sport as a career option.”