The Kochi IPL team, which is a new addition to the IPL, has signed up with Italian sportswear brand Lotto as its first sponsor, for a period of one year for an undisclosed sum.
"We are currently in talks with a lot of companies and it is an ongoing process. More sponsors will be signed once we get closure to the tournament. Lotto is our first sponsor," IPL Kochi director Mehul Shah told PTI.
The franchisee is looking to land around 8-10 sponsors before the IPL season four kicks off in April this year.
For Lotto, this is the first time the company has associated itself with the game of cricket. "We realised that cricket is a religion in India and this game is the best way to connect with Indian consumers," Lotto India Managing Director Lalit Kishore said.
As part of the deal, the Kochi team players will be sporting Lotto branded apparel, shoes and equipment. Commenting on the brand's association with the Kochi team and not any other existing IPL teams, Kishore said: "Kochi, according to us, is the hottest team this year with a lot of world class players. It is a young team and has been in the news."
The team that is owned by Rendezvous Sports World will be captained by Sri Lankan player Mahela Jayawardene. At last month's players' auction, Kochi successfully bid for Team India pace bowler S Sreesanth and Sri Lankan spin legend Muthiah Muralitharan among others.