IPL 2020: BCCI invites bids for title sponsorship rights by Friday

The rights would be available for the August 18-December 31, 2020 period, and the bids would be opened by August 18, it said

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BCCI | IPL 2020 | chinese companies

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seems to be in a tearing hurry to lock the title sponsorship of the thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) by next week, as pressure from franchisees and other stakeholders mounts on the top cricketing body.

Bids or expressions of interest (EoIs) for the title sponsorship would have to be submitted by August 14, the BCCI said on Monday, abandoning the tender process typically employed for large contracts.

The rights would be available for the August 18-December 31, 2020 period, and the bids would be opened by August 18, it said.

The announcement is in line with the BCCI’s rulebook, which stipulates that the body has to make public the process for initiating partners for contracts above Rs 25 lakh.

The buzz around Dream11, a gaming app, however, is getting louder for the IPL’s title sponsorship. Dream11, along with Byju’s and Paytm, is an official partner of the T20 tournament, which begins next month in the United Arab Emirates.

People in the know said Dream11 would be ready to set aside an additional investment of Rs 200 crore for the title sponsorship if it gets the opportunity. It will also be the biggest beneficiary of the association as opposed to names such as Patanjali that have been doing the rounds over the last two days.

Dream11 has virtual games organised around the IPL and will see traffic increase if it bags the title sponsorship. The only downside risk for the gaming app is the investment of Chinese company Tencent in the firm, an issue that the BCCI will have to navigate. That problem does not exist for Patanjali, which is a home-grown company and has worn its Indian badge proudly on its sleeve.

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Patanjali’s spokesperson S K Tijarawala confirmed on Monday that the ayurveda products company was considering bidding for the title sponsorship of the cash-rich league. “This is the right platform for making an Indian brand go global. We are considering it,” he said.

Executives at Dream11 were not immediately available for comment. Some others that have figured in the interested list include Amul, Amazon, and Reliance Jio. Groups such as Tata and Adani have also shown interest, though they are keen on a longer window in terms of sponsorship as opposed to a one-year deal currently available, persons in the know said.

A 2019 study by consultancy firm Duff & Phelps had valued the IPL at $6.8 billion, up 7 per cent from previous year.

Vivo said last week it was pausing its title sponsorship of IPL for a year, following protests against Chinese goods that has grown since the stand-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers. Vivo was forking out Rs 440 crore annually towards its title sponsorship and had already completed two years of its five-year contract. The company may now get into a fresh contract in 2021 for a three-year period.