Cricket has competition. Pro Kabaddi League broadcasters STAR Sports have signed a record five-year deal worth a whopping Rs 300 crore with mobile phone manufacturers VIVO.
VIVO, Chinese mobile phone makers, have already entered the Indian sports market throught the Indian Premier League of which they are the title sponsors.
The deal with Pro Kabaddi League was announced at the press conference in New Delhi on Monday. The fifth edition of the Kabaddi League will have 12 teams and more than 130 matches spread over 13 weeks.
The Pro Kabaddi League will also have former Australian cricketers Matthew Hayden and Brett Lee as brand ambassadors.
Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, STAR India, the broadcasters of the Pro Kabaddi League said: “We are delighted to have VIVO as our title sponsor, as they happen to share a common vision with STAR Sports to make Pro Kabaddi one of the finest leagues in the world.”
The deal accentuates competition on another front.
Chinese mobile phone manufacturers are big time into the Indian sports market with OPPO Mobiles signing a five-year contract as Indian cricket team sponsors for a whopping Rs 1079 crore. They outbid a Rs 768 crore offer from VIVO. The deal was signed last month.
The Indian cricket team will sport the OPPO jerseys for the first time in UK during the ICC Champions Trophy next month.
The Chinese phone manufacturers VIVO and OPPO have relegated Indian competitors like Micromax.
The co-founder and CEO of Micromax, the homegrown mobile maker, Rahul Sharma will be disheartened. He had said in March that he does not want the whole of India to hold Chinese phones in their hands.
Already the Chinese firms have cornered about 50% of the smartphone market in India, displacing Micromax from the list of top five smartphone makers in the quarter-ending December.
In a fast expanding smartphone market of India, Chinese phones want to become the only choice for consumers looking for pocket-friendly smartphones. Remember, most of these Indian consumers are first-time internet users.