The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) has joined hands with IMG Reliance, a joint venture between IMG Worldwide and Reliance Industries, to develop the sport in the country.
As part of the agreement, the BFI has granted IMG Reliance commercial rights relating to basketball in India, including sponsorship, advertising, broadcasting, merchandising, film, video and data, intellectual property, franchising and new league rights.
A professional basketball league in India is in the pipeline in which players from around the globe will compete alongside Indian players, similar to the CBL in China.
A critical element of the new initiative will be the development of world class infrastructure in India, including the construction of new arenas and training facilities.
To develop the game at the grassroots level, IMG Reliance will advise the BFI regarding the organization and management of school and college leagues throughout the country.
This will create a platform to develop and augment the talent pool of young men and women, enhance their opportunities to compete internationally, and successfully represent India on the world stage.
'This is a giant step towards our stated vision of making basketball a much-watched and popular sport in the country. We are confident that IMG Reliance will play a significant part in realizing this vision with a comprehensive program.
'We are working towards kicking off the leagues at the onset of the sporting calendar in the country,' BFI general Secretary, Harish Sharma said in a statement.
Andrew Wildblood of IMG Reliance said: 'The game of basketball is one of the most popular spectator sports across the world. With the active support and participation from the BFI, we will work to take the sport to the next level.'
'IMG Reliance will leverage IMG's unparalleled experience of developing sporting leagues and talent development to make basketball in India a commercially exciting sporting proposition with a large fan base,' he said.