Get ready for the Bangalore Braves

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BOMBAY -- U.S. sports marketer API Sponsorship has tied up with Bombay- based Modi Entertainment Network to launch the Indian Cricket League in India, a new inter-city league in a country that adores cricket.

API and Modi, equal partners in the joint venture, initially seek to admit clubs in key Indian cities like Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Madras and Bangalore, to name a few, and build up an excitement usually reserved for one-day international matches played between various countries.

The league will bank aggressively on earnings from sponsorships, in-stadium advertising, merchandising, licensing and TV rights sales. API's expertise in sports marketing, TV production and organizing sports events will complement Modi's local contacts in business and cricket associations.

Clubs playing for the Indian Cricket League will sport U.S.-style names like the Bangalore Braves and the Calcutta Tigers, accompanied by colorful logos and mascot designs in merchandise. Though cricket events have long been marketed, most of the merchandise and hoopla surrounding the events has been dull and colorless.

The league in the future may extend its one-day inter-city matches to Lahore in neighboring Pakistan, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Colombo in India's southern neighbor of Sri Lanka. Injecting excitement and glamour in South Asia's most popular sport are the twin aims of the joint venture.

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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