New Delhi: RuPay, the flagship product of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), acquired the title sponsorship rights of India’s newest franchise-based sports league, the Pro Volleyball League, that is set to start on February 2.

Conceived to fulfill the vision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) of offering a domestic card payment system to all banks and financial institutions in India, RuPay will be the league’s title sponsor that takes off with six franchises from six different cities.

An initiative of Baseline Ventures and Volleyball Federation of India, the league will now be called the RuPay Pro Volleyball League in its first season.

Expressing his delight on this association, senior vice-president of marketing Kunal Kalawatia said, “RuPay is the preferred card for 60 crore Indians and more than 1,100 banks issue a RuPay card today. Volleyball is a great team sport and is already played across the length and breadth of the country. Like RuPay is powering the digital payments initiative, we believe that Pro Volleyball League will bring this sport to the forefront and connect the nation with a common spirit. With RuPay Pro Volley Ball League we want to celebrate the power of a young and healthy India.”

Talking about the development, Tuhin Mishra, co-founder and managing director of Baseline Ventures said, “We are delighted to have RuPay on board as the title sponsor of the league. It is great to see that RuPay has invested in a sport that is fast-paced, exciting and perfectly matched for our young and dynamic nation. The Pro Volleyball League aims to start a volleyball revolution to match the digital India revolution that RuPay is leading. And to help us in this endeavour, we couldn’t have found better partners than RuPay.”

Welcoming RuPay on board, Ramavtar Singh Jakhar, former India international player and current secretary general of Volleyball Federation of India said, “We wholeheartedly welcome RuPay on board of PVL. It’s heartening to see such a prestigious brand which is also the pride of our nation to support a truly grassroots mass sport such as volleyball. We are sure it will be a great association.”

The NPCI is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India. It is an initiative of RBI and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and provides a range of services like the National Automated Clearing House (NACH), Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) Immediate Payment Service, (IMPS), Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), BHIM Aadhaar, National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) and Bharat Bill Pay. 

A flagship product of the NPCI, RuPay was made the card of choice for the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.

The inaugural edition of the league will begin with Kochi Blue Spikers taking on U Mumba Volley on February 2 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Kochi. The six teams that were announced in November 2018, will play each other in a round robin format in the first season that will have 18 matches.

Ahmedabad Defenders is owned by Bonhomie Sports Event Mgmt. Ltd, Kerala's Calicut Heroes is owned by Beacon Sports while the Chennai Spartans are owned by Chennai Spartans Pvt Ltd.

U Mumba Volley is owned by U Sports, who also owns a team in the Kabaddi league while Black Hawks Hyderabad is owned by Agile Entertainment Pvt Ltd.