International Management Group (IMG), the global sports marketing and management firm, has pulled out of Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) which runs the Indian Super League just ahead of its fifth season.
The fifth season is set to kick off with a match between ATK and Kerala Blaster.
ISL was launched by IMG, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries, and broadcaster Star India, in October 2013. According to media reports, Reliance directly owned 45% stake initially, while Star India had 35%, and IMG Reliance, the equal joint venture formed in March 2010 between IMG Worldwide and Reliance, held the remaining 20% interest.
According to ET, IMG is focusing on delivering services globally but is active and growing in India too.
Reliance has now taken over IMG’s stake in the company with Star India holding the remaining 35 percent stakes. The change has already reflected in the logo of the 2018-19 season.
“IMG is focused on delivering services globally and it didn’t want to own the league. So this year, they requested an exit. Reliance with its full commitment towards growing football in the country agreed to step in and buy out the stake,” ET quoted a top executive as saying.
While IMG has pulled out of FSDL, the global marketing firm still has a Joint Venture with Reliance through which they conduct Tata Maharashtra Open, Lakme Fashion Week and also handles cricketers Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.