Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) may have ended at the bottom of the table in the last Indian Premiere League (IPL), but the team continues to be a big draw with sponsors and advertisers, thanks to the star power of team owner Shah Rukh Khan.
This February, Khan struck a deal with Lux Cozi to be the sponsors of his team in IPL Season 3.
But soon after the deal, people in Kolkata opposed Knight Riders’ association with Lux Cozi, as the company’s owner, Ashok Todi, stands accused of abetting the suicide of Rizwanur Rehman, who married his daughter Priyanka. Consequently, the deal was called off.
On February 23, Hindustan Times reported that in lieu of the protests, KKR owner was calling off the deal. While Khan was unavailable for comment, senior executive of KKR, Jeet Bannerjee then said, “The association between KKR and Lux Cozi has been put on hold, keeping in mind the people’s sentiments.”
However, on February 28, on page 2 of the lifestyle supplement of a leading newspaper, appeared an advertisement announcing Lux Cozi as the sponsor of KKR. The advertisement features Khan in a KKR t-shirt with Lux Cozi insignia, prominent on the front. KKR captain Sourav Ganguly, and a couple of other players, are also a part of the ad, wearing the team jersey with the Lux Cozi logo.
Back up ready
It can be argued that the space had been sold before the deal was called off. But given the nature of the controversy, one would have expected KKR to pull out the advertisement. Nevertheless, it seems the team had ready back up after parting ways with Lux Cozi, for Khan immediately signed a deal with XXX Energy Drink to sponsor his team.
We tried contacting Khan for his side of the story and sent him repeated text messages. But he remained unavailable for comment. Meanwhile, KKR have taken the field in IPL Season 3 in their new purple and gold colours.
And not surprisingly, the team jersey no longer features the Lux Cozi insignia.