Vijay Deverakonda becomes co-owner in volleyball league team Hyderabad Black Hawk

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New Delhi: Telugu film actor and producer Vijay Deverakonda has bought a minority stake in Hyderabad Black Hawks, a franchise of Prime Volleyball, a professional men’s indoor volleyball league. Devarakonda has acquired less than 10% in the team at a valuation of Rs. 160 crores.

With this, the actor has become a co-owner of the team along with investor Abhishek Reddy Kankanala, an entrepreneur who holds a majority stake in the Hyderabad franchise.

“It is our vision to take volleyball to all corners of the country, to all ages, all genders, all backgrounds, and all levels of athleticism. We want to empower our rural communities, just like our cities, and make the playing field For all of our kids. We want volleyball to be more than just a sport – we want to transform it into something that can help and benefit everyone,” Deverakonda said on their collaboration.

“As a co-owner and a brand ambassador, Vijay brings a fresh perspective to the mix that can truly take our brand to the next level, and take our organization a huge step towards achieving our vision may go ahead,” Kankanala told Mint. “He believes in the potential of the team in the league.

Kankanala, who heads Global Arena LLP, has also invested in Premier Badminton League team Bengaluru Raptors and National Boxing League’s Bengaluru Brawlers.

Prime Volleyball is a private league that operates on a business model where the franchise owners are also stakeholders in the league. In its inaugural edition in February last year, seven teams from Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Kochi, Hyderabad, Calicut and Ahmedabad participated. The league is an initiative of Baseline Ventures with no involvement from the Volleyball Federation of India.

Baseline Ventures, a sports, events, entertainment and licensing firm also manages athletes like PV Sindhu, K Srikkanth, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Prithvi Shaw, Smriti Mandhana, Nikhat Zareen, PR Sreejesh.

The second edition of the league will begin next month in three different cities – Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi. All eight franchises – Calicut Heroes, Kochi Blue Spikers, Ahmedabad Defenders, Hyderabad Black Hawks, Chennai Blitz, Bengaluru Torpedoes, Mumbai Meteors and Kolkata Thunderbolts – will play round-robin matches before the top four teams in the league stage advance to the semi-finals. Final. The final will be played in Kochi.

The season will consist of 31 matches and will be broadcast on Sony Sports Network and its OTT platforms. The organization claimed that in its inaugural season, it had a cumulative television viewership of 41 million.

Last year, league owner Baseline Ventures had filed a legal notice to Discovery Communications India, directing it to pay an amount to the Volleyball Federation of India. 4 crores with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum, and an amount of 5,00,000 as its cost. It claimed that the baseline was due 6 crores by this body as decided by the courts.

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