With days to go for the mini-auction, it seems the Board of Control of Cricket in India could find themselves in a spot of bother again with sponsorship. Reports suggest that Chinese mobile phone makers Vivo are likely to withdraw as title sponsors of the IPL. The report further suggests that Vivo wants to ‘assign’ the sponsorship to any company willing to buy off the remainder of the deal with BCCI.
With BCCI looking to make more profits than last season – it would be interesting to see who does Vivo assign the deal to. Vivo has to assign it to another company at the same or more value. The five-year deal between BCCI and Vivo that starting in 2018 was INR 2199 crores. It was scheduled to end in 2022.
In 2018, Vivo paid Rs 363 cr, while in the following year – they increased the sum to Rs 400 cr. Last year, the mobile giants pulled out as the title sponsors at the last minute after they faced heavy backlash on social space. This happened after 20 Indian soldiers were martyred at the Galwan Vallery by their Chinese counterparts.
After Vivo backed out as title sponsors, BCCI rolled out a fresh tender. Sports Fantasy platform Dream11 came to the rescue. They paid INR 222 crore, which was half the amount VIVO had agreed upon. Reports also suggest that BCCI had given Dream11 to bid again for a higher price, but they opted out as they did not want to go beyond the amount they paid last season.
Meanwhile, the BCCI has said that they are open to Vivo coming back as title sponsors. The auctions are scheduled to take place in Chennai on February 18. It would be for the first time ever that an IPL auction could be held without a sponsor.
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