Mobile manufacturing company Vivo, which had parted ways with the BCCI for the title sponsorship rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, is eyeing an exit from the cash-rich by transferring its rights to interested bidders, which may include fantasy gaming platform Dream11 and Edu-tech start-up Unacademy. Dream11 bought the rights for the 13th edition of the IPL for Rs 222 crore, which was nearly half (₹440 crores) of what Vivo was paying annually for a five-year deal.
It is understood that in the prevailing situation when Sino-India geo-political relations are in a sensitive state, Vivo understands that there is no feasibility to continue the association with two years still left.
Talkin about the same one of the sources of PTI in BCCI said, “It’s almost final that Vivo will exit the IPL title sponsorship deal by mutual consent with the board. It was suspended for the 2020 edition. However, there is a clause that allows them to transfer their pending liabilities as one-time title sponsors on the new winner. If the board agrees on principle, it can happen.”
With IPL set for 9 or 10-team expansion in 2022, it is expected that the new bidder will be getting the sponsorship rights for three years.
Describing the same, an industry insider said, “Dream11 and Unacademy will place their offers to Vivo. Unacademy in any case is an associate sponsor and they are ready to offer a higher amount in order to acquire the rights from Vivo.”
It is learned that MPL, which is currently the kit sponsor of the Indian team may not be allowed to bid for title sponsorship as Dream11 has been a title partner and will get what they call in sponsorship parlance “category exclusivity”. BCCI brass is expecting that a clearer picture might emerge by the weekend once Vivo gets a concrete final offer.
Elaborating the same an anonymous BCCI official said, “Look, Vivo paid approximately Rs 440 crore (Rs 2190 crore for 5 years). Now if BCCI invites bids, just like last year when Dream11 paid Rs 222 crore, it might increase but can’t be doubled. But if there is a transfer of rights, the old amount could be matched or even bettered.”
The IPL will have a mini-auction on February 18 in Chennai with a maximum of 61 slots up for grabs.