Five companies keen on IPL title sponsorship
It is learnt Tata group, Reliance Jio, Patanjali, and edu tech platforms Byjus and Unacademy have met Friday’s deadline for submitting Expression Of Interest (EOI).Updated: Aug 15, 2020 08:44 IST
After Vivo’s exit as title sponsors from the upcoming edition of IPL, the Indian cricket board has received expression of interest from at least five companies to step in for the UAE edition, from September 19 to November 8.
It is learnt Tata group, Reliance Jio, Patanjali, and edu tech platforms Byjus and Unacademy have met Friday’s deadline for submitting Expression Of Interest (EOI). It could not be independently confirmed but leading fantasy gaming platform, Dream 11, could also be in the running. A Tata spokesperson confirmed “Tata group have expressed interest in IPL title rights”.
Industry experts say it is highly unlikely all those who have shown interest will submit bids on August 18, when the sponsors will be announced. “Tata group is a serious player. It may want to make the most of this rare opportunity when IPL is scheduled in a festive season and sponsorship is available just for a year, and at a discount,” said a source close to the development.
At the time of inviting title sponsors last week, a BCCI official had said “the discount could be as much 30-40 % of the R440 crore Vivo would have paid”.
Among the other prospective sponsors, Reliance Jio is already a sponsor with many franchises and a leading advertiser during IPL. “They are not short of cash, but there is no indication they would be bidding aggressively,” said a senior industry executive.
Byjus is already paying big bucks as the Indian team’s jersey sponsor. It will have to take a call if it wants to join the IPL bandwagon as well. Interestingly, it became known on Friday that it has dropped out as principal sponsor of Kolkata Knight Riders.
With the prevailing anti-China sentiment that led to Vivo stepping aside this season, an Indian company may be a perfect fit for BCCI. A clause in the EOI invitation also indicates BCCI is addressing wider issues.
“BCCI shall not be obliged to award the rights to the third party which indicates willingness to pay the highest fees in the course of discussions/negotiations with BCCI after submitting an EOI. BCCI’s decision in this regard will also depend on a number of other relevant factors, including but not limited to, the manner in which the third party intends to exploit the rights and the potential impact of the same on brand IPL.”
In BCCI’s invite for EOI last week, it said only companies with a minimum turnover of R300 crore, as per the latest audit, will be eligible to bid for title sponsorship.
Patanjali and Unacademy are domestic companies that have shown interest in cricket sponsorship. Whether they will want to go all out in clinching the bid remains to be seen.
Other than the title sponsorship, BCCI is also in negotiations to fill three associate partnership slots to try and make up for some of the financial shortfalls due to Vivo’s exit. Tata’s Altroz is already an IPL official partner. If Unacademy does not win the title sponsorship, it too could join as a new official partner.