Cristiano Ronaldo teams up with Sachin Tendulkar for a venture in Middle East
Sachin Tendulkar and Cristiano Ronaldo teams up for a sports venture in the Middle East.
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been signed deal with Smaaash Entertainment, a sports based virtual entertainment company co-owned by by cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar for its entry into the Middle East with arcade games built around football.
The company is planning to launch a 65,000 sq ft virtual gaming arcade with football, cricket and other games in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and another one in Dubai two months later, as revaled by founder Shripal Morakhia. The will be investing around Rs 15 crore for the virtual soccer games.
The company has launched their concept of virtual games in 2013 with cricket pitches fitted with bowling machines that can replicate the pitch of world class bowlers, including spinners. The same bowling machines are now midified to project passed balls or shots on goal for football, and the player xan collet, dribble or block goals accordingly
“We perfected our electronic ball-throwing machines with cricket and are now extending that to soccer,” Morakhia said. The owner refrained from revealing the commercial value of the contract with Ronaldo, but said that it would cover the Gulf countries and India for five years at least and that it will comprise of an annual fee.
“We do not take Smaaash as an endorsement; it is a partnership with like-minded people who are passionate about doing interesting work,” Perdro Moreira dos Santos, media officer at Polaris Sport, who represent Ronaldo, said in an email interview.
Jeddah and Dubai to start off with
Morakhia refused to comment on the exact locations of the upcoming project, but a person who has close ties with owner said that the locations are Red Sea Mall and Dubai mall in Jeddah and Dubai respectively, both are in the heart of the cities.
The company is also planning a London launch in the future and have plans of signing up a club or a team or maybe even extend Ronaldo’s contract.
In March, Smaash will start shooting with Ronaldo to develop the games. With the Qatar World Cup in 2022 and the U-17 World Cup in India to be held in 2017, the company expects the popularity of these virtual games to rise.
Not just football games
“We have seven soccer challenges through which you can find out what percentage of Ronaldo is in you, but Smaaash is also about the games Ronaldo loves,” Morakhia said.
The company also planned to introduce other games like F1 and newly added concepts like designing a roller coaster and experiencing a virtual ride.
Smaaash’s signature cricket venture that was built together with Tendulkar, who holds an 18 per cent stake in the company, has turned profitable in India with a profit margin of 32 per cent.
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