The third edition of the UTT, which starts on July 25, will see four out of six teams getting new owners
AGENCIES, NEW DELHI: In a stunning move, Dempo group has now ventured into table tennis following their acquisition of 90% stake in Empowerji Challengers, which will be rechristened Goa Challengers in the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT).
The third edition of the UTT which starts on July 25, will see four teams getting new owners in the six-team league. The Kotak Group’s Insurekot Sports, which also runs Pro Kabaddi franchisee Puneri Paltan, will replace DHFL-owned Maharashtra United while Ronnie Screwvala’s USports will replace Warriors TTC. Chennai will get a new team — Chennai Lions as they replace Falcons TTC. While Dempo group is another new entrant who will take over Empowerji Challengers, which will be rechristened Goa Challengers.
Speaking to a national media Dempo group chairman Shrinivas Dempo said, “It’s a very popular sport in Goa. Being a family which has always supported sports, we thought we should go for it,”
“It is not a very investment-intensive sport so it was not that big a risk as maybe running a football outfit. The payback period for table tennis is much shorter as the initial investment is less and if the league hits the right chords, sponsorship won’t be an issue. We are in for the long haul and three-five years is the going to be the break-even period,” added Dempo who have richly contributed in the sport of football.
Dempo group has contributed richly to Indian football. Dempo SC, formerly a part of the I-League, had won five titles while the company also co-owned ISL franchise FC Goa.
With the league set to be restricted to Delhi this time, the new franchise plans to use social media to drum up support. “Earlier, television and live audience used to be the way forward. But with the advent of social media, things have changed. We are yet to fully finalise our marketing details, but social media will play a huge role. We have already received encouragement from a number of sponsors,” added Dempo.