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MUMBAI: This week tennis ace Yuki Bhambri and discus thrower Vikas Gowda will begin raising money on crowdfunding platforms as they look to raise capital for a new season of international competition. The move has the potential to create a new robust stream of funding for sportspersons who struggle to get the attention of large companies obsessed with the glamour of cricket. The Bhambri campaign to raise Rs20 lakh kicks off on Catapooolt, a two-year old crowdfunding platform while Gowda will seek funding of about Rs8 lakh from multiple investors on Ketto, cofounded by Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor.

"Getting in touch with big corporates is very tough and they don't understand the requirements of sports persons," said Indu Bhambri, mother of 21-yearold Yuki, India's second-ranked tennis player who hopes to hire a new full-time trainer this year. "Companies are more interested in teams and clubs," said Bhambri who is looking to fund her son's campaign in both the French Open and Wimbledon later this year.

Yuki, who won the 2009 Australian Open Junior Championship, needs an average of Rs25-30 lakh annually for training and international participation. So far, his own capital and funding from public sector undertaking ONGC and sports body All India Tennis Association have helped him through. Brands like Adidas provide equipment, but this year the need is higher as he looks for a trainer to take him to the big league. Crowdfunding, where multiple investors provide small sums of money as either equity or grants, has so far been used to fund smallbudget movies as well as social ventures in India. Some successful fund-raising campaigns include crowdfunded Kannada language thriller, Lucia.

Bhambri's campaign was seeded by Catapooolt founder Satish Kataria who approached the tennis player on reading reports that he was looking for funding. While infrastructure for athletes may have improved marginally in over four-five years, the focus in India continues to be on sports like cricket. "Corporates want to invest in a sport which is more visible and vibrant," said Sanjay Shukla, CEO of Percept Sports & Entertainment, whose company is involved in sponsorship and athlete management.


http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-04-21/news/49290737_1_yuki-bhambri-vikas-gowda-lakh
 

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Ah, that was the reason why he never plays outside East Asia. Such bad news, let`s hope he can have sucess. He`s a great player
 

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isnt he trying involvedfan.com??
 
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