A rather awkward and discomforting situation has risen for the high profile players of the star studded IPL side of Kings XI Punjab. The Punjab franchise, which has prominent names like Virender Sehwag, David Miller, Glenn Maxwell and George Bailey in its ranks, has collaborated with a major condom brand.
The deal was finalized and brought into the limelight at the very last moment. The brand, Manforce Condoms is manufactured by New Delhi based pharmaceutical heavyweights Mankind Pharma. The deal was precisely made on Tueday morning.
As per the reports of a leading Indian newspaper, Kings XI Punjab team co owner Mohit Burman was quoted saying, “Manforce will figure on the back of the jerseys along with our other main sponsor Tata Prime.” As soon as the new designed jerseys were handed over to the players, there was some gauche feeling present in the air. The players looked extremely uncomfortable, and their shy smiles said it all.
A King XI Punjab player, who looked completely flummoxed and shy, went on to say, “I don’t know what to say; my family will be watching and it’s an embarrassing situation. Also, friends are bound to tease us.” The player was quoted saying so by the Hindustan Times, on the basis of anonymity.
Going by the IPL rule books, as laid down by the IPL management, there is no such rule, which prohibits the sponsoring of an IPL side through a contraceptive brand. Safe to say, this though is the first instance that has come to light. This statement was reiterated by IPL Governing Council chairman Rajiv Shukla, who said, “We have seen such products (male contraceptives) being advertised on TV during matches, but we don’t have guidelines that limit a franchise from getting one as a team sponsor.”
The IPL side from Punjab now has as many as 20 sponsors for this edition of the IPL. It is completely safe to state that the Kings XI should not face any financial woe in this edition.
“The sheer volume of male viewers, who are our target group, made a lot of business sense for creating strong brand awareness around Manforce,” Eshita, assistant product manager, Mankind, was quoted saying.
The Kings XI Punjab begin their campaign against the Rajasthan Royals in Pune on the 10th of April.