American football star Mario Williams of the Buffalo Bills has agreed to buy the Bangalore Warhawks franchise of the Elite Football League of India (EFLI). The initial report from the league included no details on the financial terms of the deal.
“Despite my achievements as a collegiate and professional athlete, I truly believe that I have far more to contribute, including helping the disadvantaged children and future football heroes of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka,” said Williams.
The EFLI, which was founded in mid-2011 by U.S. brand marketing consultant Sunday Zeller, held its inaugural season from September 2012 to February 2013. Season 2 is scheduled to kick off closer to the end of the 2014 calendar year.
The Warhawks finished the first EFLI season with a 4-3 record, finishing in third place in the West division. The Pune Marathas defeated the Delhi Defenders 6–0 in the Elite Bowl, the equivalent to NFL’s Super Bowl.
“It is an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to work one-on-one with these kids and offer them hope for a brighter future,” added Williams. “I anxiously look forward to my visit to India and spending real time on the field with them. The fans are going to love the fast sports action they see on the field.”
Williams, a three-time Pro Bowler, was drafted as the No. 1 overall pick back in 2006 by the Houston Texans. In March 2012, Williams became the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL when he signed a six year, $96 million contract (upwards of $100 million including contract incentives), $50 million of which was guaranteed.
“I am beyond elated to bring such a well respected and evolved soul into the EFLI family,” said Zeller. “It is no coincidence that the mission attracts the very best of mind, body and spirit. As is necessary in all aspects of life, thriving to be the best results in the benefit of all who are touched by a loving heard.”
While much of this is without a doubt a business decision, the charitable endeavors available through such a deal also helped attract Williams’ attention. Williams is actively involved in his local community, and has also been involved in unique projects like his ‘MariO’s’ cereal that raises funds for a charity in Buffalo that helps children with cancer.
“Thank you Mario, for your commitment to the success of the EFLI and for your dedication to the global unity and outreach that our program provides,” said Zeller.