Mumbai: Studded with celebrated sports personalities like soccer star Baichung Bhutia, ace tennis player Leander Paes, Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting and popular film star Manisha Koirala, the Walchand group today launched its new business initiative, 9 Yards, a sports and entertainment company.
9 Yards is a dedicated sports and entertainment management firm offering a wide gamut of services like celebrity representation and management, turnkey event implementation, rights representation, consulting and merchandising.
Bhutia, who has signed up with the company for marketing and managing his business interests, says: "I signed up with 9 Yards because the firm is driven by talented and experienced professionals who have an excellent track record in the business of sports and entertainment marketing and management. With 9 Yards managing my business portfolio, I can happily concentrate on what I do best - playing soccer."
Says Koirala: "I am delighted to have signed up with a professionally managed company, 9 Yards, which will be my first and exclusive representation company to manage and market my portfolio towards corporate endorsements, corporate appearances, corporate events and PR. I am sure this will be a start to a long and successful partnership."
Says 9 Yards co-founder Sanjay Jha: "9 Yards is a natural and logical extension of our deeper interest in the area of sports marketing and the entertainment arena. CricketNext has emerged as a most popular portal. With 9 Yards, we shall actively support other upcoming sports such as hockey, tennis, golf, football, and squash. Moreover, we now have high-quality capabilities to manage events on ground and offline."
Adds 9 Yards co-founder Pallavi Jha: "The corporate sector in India now has a strong management entity, which will create interesting event properties and find appropriate sports and entertainment solutions in tune with their brands and long-term marketing and positioning strategies."
Ponting, the captain of the World Cup winning Australian team, will be the brand ambassador for CricketNext for a period of four years, till the end of the next World Cup in West Indies in 2007.
Says 9 Yards CEO Navneet Sharma: "9 Yards has been created with the aim of delivering added value to companies, corporates, brands and federations by understanding, developing, implementing and partnering innovative strategies in the realm of sports and entertainment. We aim to achieve this through acquired expertise of the team members over the years in these fields and through good corporate governance. It will be the aim of the company to attain leadership position in the Indian subcontinent within the next three-to-five years."
Sharma has over 13 years of professional association with sports, leisure and the entertainment industry. His exposure includes working with companies like IMG, World Sports Nimbus, and Click Cricket.com.
9 Yards also formally launched it's website, www.9YardsIndia.com, wherein corporates and marketing professionals can log in and review the range of wide services the firm has to offer.