World Super Bike heads to India

It was an opportunity to earn revenue amounting to almost Rs 100 crore through track-related sponsorships that convinced JPSI, the owners of the BIC, to bring the World Super Bike Championship to India ahead of Moto GP, the world’s premier motorcycle championship.

The organisers were in talks with both Moto GP and the World Super Bike championship (WSBK) but the revenue-earning opportunities that came with the latter were too good to resist for JPSI, which successfully hosted India’s first Formula One race last October.

“Moto GP too is like F1. So, for JPSI, World Super Bike championships was a much better option. But I can tell you that Moto GP will definitely come to India. If not in 2013, then in 2014,” a JPSI source said.

“Talks are still on and who knows Moto GP may come to India in the second half of the season,” the source added. 

Logistically it made sense for both WSBK and Moto GP to have a race in India in March since they both start their season in Asia and would have liked to finish the Asian engagement before moving to other shores of the world.  

In the end, it’s WSBK, which has secured a race in India, the new motorsport destination of the world.

Unlike F1, the organisers — Jaypee Sports International Limited (JPSI) — will have a say in deciding the sponsorships rights and commercial rights when it hosts WSBK. It costs a fortune to earn a sponsorship right in F1, so entering WSBK is financially viable for many Indian and other corporates. 

JPSI will also earn close to Rs 25 crore per year for the title sponsorships from WSBK, which will be held on March 9-10 next year. Many Indian corporates are eyeing the event for various sponsorship and commercial opportunities.

According to sources, “a few corporate giants from the automobile and telecom sectors are in competition for the title sponsorship of the Indian round and are willing to peg a sum of Rs 18-22 crore per year.”

“While other track-related sponsorship opportunities for the race may further add 90-100 crores in the race organisers’ kitty. It is at least 20 per cent more than what JPSI would have earned by organising Moto GP first,” said the source.

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