English Premier League Football club Evertron has tied up with Indiatimes, the Internet and Mobile business of the Times of India group, to make content related to the club in India via mobile, Indiatimes CEO Rishi Khiani has confirmed. The deal was signed with Total Sports Asia, which is licensed to distribute Everton mobile content throughout Asia, with the exception of China. The term of the deal has not been disclosed, but its timing is rather odd since the English Premier League is coming to an close, with just five games to go.
On a side note, has anyone in India picked up rights for the FIFA World Cup? 63 days left.
In terms of content, Indiatimes will be able to provide for download, via web and WAP sites, Everton ringtones, wallpapers and videos. This is the second deal that a Football club has struck in India, after Manchester United (MUFC) inked a similar deal with Bharti Airtel. Apart from access to the MUFC portal, wallpapers and downloads, Airtel did launch (but didn’t really market) a subscription package with regular news updates. I had subscribed, but then, as a fan, I keep track of MUFC updates online and on Twitter anyway. Indiatimes could use their 58888 FOLLOW service to keep fans updated, though I wonder whether they’ll make the premium content paid.
I doubt that Everton has a very large fan base in India, at least, not as large as the big four EPL clubs – Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool; the last three, which don’t have deals in India, would have been far more lucrative, albeit more expensive.
P.s.: I’d rather not talk about Arjen Robben’s goal last night. I should have gone off to sleep after the first half, like ManUtd did.