Nokia to start on with its latest venture. Well, not really latest but Nokia is all geared up to play its second innings as KKR’s financier in IPL. The telecom honcho as a brand is returning as the lead sponsor of Shahrukh Khan’s Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) after a gap of three years. The agreement is for two years starting with this year’s IPL.

Finland-based HMD Global Oy, which is again the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for mobile phones and tablets, in fact, have also planned to leverage KKR for its marketing initiatives for the further re-building of its brand in the country having re-launched the Nokia brand last year. With this, HMD Global country head for India Ajey Mehta also regarded that the company would be leveraging the marketing assets of KKR.

Mehta, however, declined to share the financial size of the sponsorship deal and whether the agreement also includes using Shahrukh Khan for its marketing efforts. To look back, incidentally, Nokia was the principal sponsor for KKR since the starting of IPL in 2008 and had continued till 2014 when Shahrukh Khan was also a celebrity endorser of the brand. Chinese smartphone maker Gionee was the lead sponsor of KKR till last year’s IPL season.

KKR-AND-Nokia
In a recent media release, Shahrukh Khan, co-owner of KKR said that he is excited to partner with HMD Global as they script the next chapter of Nokia phones. To this, he added that “Through our association, we look to unite fans of Nokia and KKR with the common passion for cricket”.

Mehta said since HMD Global believes in partnerships, it would be seeking branding and marketing opportunities, similar to the KKR deal which would make business sense. He regarded the Nokia brand to be poised for significant growth this year in India, having established the distribution and after-sales network.