The Badminton Association of India has secured a US$1.6 million sponsorship contract with Premier Brands.
That US$1.6 million, which comes from a deal brokered by Total Sports Asia, will all go to the players, and a group of former players will administer the sponsorship amounts.
"The entire receivables from the sponsorship would go directly to the players and BAI will not use any of it for its administrative costs," said BAI president V.K. Verma. "Also, we are presenting a model of financial governance that will set the highest standard of transparency in sports administration."
"We have invited a group of four distinguished players – Mr Prakash Padukone, Mr Pullela Gopichand, Mr Dinesh Khanna and Ms Ami Ghia Shah – to administer the money received from this sponsorship. This is in keeping with our approach to selection of 16 players in the senior and junior sections as Team India by a group that comprises Mr Gopichand, Ms Ghia Shah, Mr Khanna, Mr Pradeep Gandhe and Mr Vimal Kumar."
Premier Brands chairman Suresh Kumar said that the engagement with BAI is not just a sponsorship deal: "It is our way of giving back to the society for development of sports in India and contributing to a sport with tremendous Indian heritage, history and a sense of national pride in which India has consistently proven its worth at a world stage."
Premier Brands will be featured prominently on the front of the team jerseys, and will be the presenting sponsor of the Yonex Sunrise Asian Badminton Championship to be held from April 12 to 18, 2010 as a pre-cursor to the Commonwealth Games 2010 and the domestic circuit.