Dec 13, 2011 at 02:20 PM
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Illinois Company Invests $1 Million In India's First American-Style Football League

The Elite Football League of India (EFLI), India's first pro league for American-style football, today announced that Illinois-based, Schutt Sports, a leading maker of football helmets and faceguards, will commit 2,000 helmets, 2,300 face guards, 2,000 shoulders pads and additional accessories and equipment as part of its first million dollar sponsorship. Just last week, a PwC study projected that India's sports business would sustain annual growth of 5% a year, growing to $1.89 billion by 2015, in the same study noting that cross-border deals will grow in importance during the time period.

The Elite Football League of India (EFLI) is India's first professional American-style football league, recognized by the Government of India and the Sports Authority of India. Formed in August, 2011, the league is introducing American-style football to the Indian market and its large consumer base with city-based teams of Indian players and coaches trained by professional American football coaching talent including Ron Jaworski, Mike Ditka, Michael Irvin and Brandon Chillar.

"We're obviously excited about putting the game's best helmets and equipment on the EFLI players, but beyond that, we're in complete agreement with EFLI's vision for the role of football in the country and throughout the region,” said Robert Erb, Schutt Sports president and CEO. “It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance for a brand to get into a market with over a billion people and also has the opportunity to be a game-changing influence in the lives of young athletes. We're tremendously excited about this partnership and the future of American Football in India and the region."

Schutt has committed approximately $1 million worth of equipment to the EFLI, including 2,000 premium football helmets, 2,300 carbon steel face guards, 2,000 O2 Flex premium shoulder pads and an additional fiscal commitment per team for accessory equipment has been allotted.

"We share the same passion, intensity and devotion to the game as the player. Players know what they want, they know why they want it and they know they'll succeed when they get it. For nearly a century, we've made their gear - all with the sole purpose of empowering players to focus and perform at the top of their game," concluded Mr. Erb.

“This sponsorship opportunity in the sports equipment sector was highly competitive," said Sunday Zeller, EFLI founder and co-CEO. "The invitation extended to Schutt and the decision to accept was based on their commitment to safety and true concern for the athletes; their well-being and growth in the sport of football."