The Odisha government now owns a team in the soon to be-launched professional league. This can be described as a huge boost for the Ultimate Kho Kho(UKK).
It will be the Odisha government’s second direct venture in sports. In 2013, the Odisha government also owned the Kalinga Lancers, a team that competed in the Hockey India League.
This announcement comes just days after Odisha won silver in the boys and girls categories of Kho Kho at Khelo Indian Youth Games 2022.
The fifth franchise in the league will be owned and operated by the Odisha Sports Development and Promotion Company.
“Kho Kho” is very popular in many Odisha regions. Our boys and daughters performed well in the Khelo India Youth Games. They won silver medals. It’s a traditional sport, so there is a lot of potential to improve it in the state. We have therefore decided to join the Kho Kho League. This is part our Chief Minister Naveen Patel’s vision for Odisha sports,” stated Tusharkanti Behera, Minister for Sports and Youth Services in a statement.
Over the past ten years, the Naveen-Patnaik-led government not only hosted major sports events but also created a world-class multisport infrastructure.
OSDPC has partnered with ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India Limited (AM/NS India), a leading steel manufacturer, and will be closely involved in Ultimate Kho Kho.
“Sports Odisha is a key player in India’s sporting revolution. It is remarkable to see their focused approach to the development of a sport. They have fostered corporate investment to support grassroots development and future champions. “And now their association to Ultimate Kho Kho, which is a great signal for the development the sport,” said Tenzing Niyogi CEO of Ultimate Kho Kho.
Ultimate Kho Kho had previously announced four franchises. GMR Group and ADANI Group, corporate giants in India, bagged Telangana and Gujarat franchises respectively. KLO Sports and Capri Global are the owners of Chennai and Rajasthan teams.
Ultimate Kho Kho signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Sony Pictures Networks India to be its broadcast partner. The league action will be broadcast on Sony’s channels as well as on the OTT platform SonyLIV. It will also be available in English and other regional languages.