Bengaluru FC announced a landmark partnership with automobile manufacturing giants Kia Motors who will now be the club’s principal sponsors in a deal that runs through the end of the 2021-22 season. To formalize the partnership, Kia Motors India and Bengaluru Football Club signed a MoU in the presence of Mr. Kookhyun Shim – MD & CEO, Kia Motors India and Mr. Parth Jindal – CEO, Bengaluru Football Club. Also present at the announcement was club captain Sunil Chhetri, Erik Paartalu and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
The partnership will now see Bengaluru FC turn out with the Kia logo emblazoned in the front of the club shirt.
Kia’s global sports sponsorship portfolio includes FIFA, UEFA Europa League, Australian Open, and LPGA, to name a few. With Kia’s India brand launch scheduled for June 2019, the automaker has found the perfect partner in BFC to share its success story and vision, while strengthening community engagement, especially among young fans.
“Bengaluru Football Club’s partnership with Kia is a historic association in Indian football. Kia has a rich background of partnerships with sports including a host of world-class sporting events and teams. For Kia to choose Bengaluru FC as a medium to announce its presence in India is a matter of pride for the club and is also a big testament to the fan culture that the team and the city have created. The JSW name that the club wore with pride, is now entwined in Bengaluru FC. Now, with Kia alongside us, we are looking forward to doing great things to grow the sport in the country,” said Mr. Parth Jindal – CEO Bengaluru Football Club.
Speaking about the new partnership, Mr. Kookhyun Shim – CEO & Managing Director, Kia Motors, said, “We at Kia, are as passionate about sports as we are about our world class cars. Our past and current partnerships with different sporting championships across the world are a clear sign of our enthusiasm for sports. As we extend this legacy to India, we aim to foster and inspire youngsters in the country to become a part of the global sports community. We are proud to associate with one of the most consistently successful teams in the ISL – Bengaluru FC, and we look forward to an excellent season with memorable experiences for millions of football enthusiasts throughout India.”
Also present at the announcement was club captain Sunil Chhetri who has been sporting the club’s iconic shirt over the past five seasons. At the unveiling of the Kia logo-emblazoned jersey, Chhetri said, “I have been a part of the Bengaluru FC’s growth story from day one; we have taken big steps with every passing season. This association says so much about the club’s intent to grow, Kia has been a global ambassador of football and it was a real honor for me to be a part of the jury for Kia’s Official Match Ball Carrier Initiative where two kids were selected to be the first-ever Official Match Ball Carriers from India for the FIFA World Cup 2018. With this partnership, we are confident of encouraging and strengthening the rapidly evolving football community in India.”
The Blue Colts will face Real Kashmir FC, who also won their opening match 7-0 against Delhi United, in the semifinal.
Final Score: Bengaluru FC B 7 (Asheer 4’, Edmund 8’ (P), Roshan 36’, Lalnuntluanga 51’ (P), 75’, Altamash 70’, (Own Goal) 78’) beat Lonestar Kashmir FC 0.
Naushad Moosa’s Bengaluru FC B suffered last-minute heartbreak, going down 3-2 to Real Kashmir FC in extra-time, in the semifinal of the J&K Invitational Cup at the TRC Turf in Srinagar, on Sunday. Mason Robertson struck the winner for home side on the 120th minute mark after two goals in each half saw both sides locked at 2-2 in regulation time.
In what was a thrilling game from start to finish, Ivorian striker Gnohere Krizo (20’) opened scoring for Real Kashmir from the penalty spot, while Myron Mendes (25’) made it 1-1 from another spot-kick just five minutes later.
A Parag Shrivas header (65’) gave Bengaluru the lead in the second half before it was cancelled out by Danish Bhat fifteen minutes from the finish. The Blue Colts had to face extra time with a man disadvantage after defender Asheer Akhtar was sent off in the 93rdminute.
While the BFC reserves dominated the opening exchanges of the game, it was the local side Real Kashmir who broke the deadlock as Krizo converted from the spot in the 20th minute after defender Rakesh Oram was adjudged to have fouled Riwtik Das inside the box.
Five minutes later, the Blues had a penalty of their own when winger Naorem Roshan Singh was brought down by veteran defender Dharmaraj Ravanan. Midfielder Myron Mendes stepped up to convert from the spot and leveled scores in the 25th minute.
The Blue Colts had another chance seven minutes from the break when striker Edmund Lalrindika made himself space in the box. Having controled Parag’s cross in from the left with his chest, his attempted volley on the turn was saved by the rival custodian.
The second half saw both sides battle evenly before Bengaluru struck again in the 65th minute with a set-piece goal. Playmaker Altamash Sayed sent in a perfect delivery from a freekick to find Parag in the box who headed home at the near post to put the Blue Colts in the lead.
However, just ten minutes later, Real Kashmir struck their equalizer at the other end through striker Danish Bhat, who controlled a freekick on the run before finishing in the left-bottom corner past Shainkhan CP in the BFC goal to set up a grand stand finish.
With both sides failing to produce the winner in regulation time, the game had another 30 minutes added to it. The hosts managed to dominate proceedings throughout the extra minutes, making their one-man advantage count after Blues’ defender Asheer Akhtar was sent off for a second bookable offense in second half injury time.
While the game looked set to head to penalties shootout, Scottish defender Mason Robertson scored right at the death to seal the game in the home side’s favour. A long throw-in which was cleared out by the BFC defence fell for Robertson who controlled the ball and unleashed a powerful shot to score the winner in the 120th minute.
The Blue Colts now travel east to Sikkim for the Governor’s Gold Cup.