The Chinese mobile giant VIVO has backed out of the IPL. Remember, VIVO is the lead title sponsor and now they have backed from IPL 2020. There was a lot of question being raised whether Chinese mobile manufacturing companies should sponsors for the IPL 2020 scheduled to be held in Dubai. They might come back in 2021 but we don’t know for sure whether they are coming back or not but for this year it won’t be called the VIVO IPL. The company has pulled out because they might have realized that the downslide in business and the commitment they must have made doesn’t match up, which is a clever decision. But this will be a problem to the board unless they are going to get a committed kind of sponsor with deep pockets who can realize there might be an opportunity as people are crying out loud for some live action. Given the moment except for the two franchise-Chennai super kings and Mumbai Indians- most of the others are still trying to lock in their sponsor and this news will be a big concern for them. In a situation where they realize that this year IPL has got a major hit but they were going along with the plan because they felt it’s better to have something rather than nothing. This certainly is a huge setback and we also need to keep in mind that the BCCI and IPL governing council has faced a lot of criticism for deciding to not cut ties with the Chinese company and on Monday we have seen how this particular franchise which is Vivo, took it upon itself to inform the others of Vivo’s impending exit. Vivo has a 5 year contract as title sponsorship of IPL which is now hindered with 3 more years to go. IPL is not something they can exit whenever they want and come back as they like and the likelihood of Vivo returning next year is also not suitable for they might have seen how the environment is certainly not conducive for them.
IPL is a recession-free property and it hasn’t been difficult for it to gain sponsors but the question here is not about the difficulty level, it’s the question of what value. Because at this late stage any company that wishes to tie its name with the IPL will bargain very hard. As we have known in the past there are not many companies that have come up with big money that is required at the BCCI and it would take a rare company to meet with their requirement. BCCI could get another sponsor but certainly not up to Vivo level. These are terrible times given the pandemic, so everything is depressing in terms of value. This will have a chain reaction on the sponsorship that teams can expect on their property because it might start to shake the market up more. BCCI may not get 440 crore rupees this year that Vivo was meant to have given if they have stayed because it’s a very large sum of money and most companies considering the given situation will not be able to provide that. It’s not just giving money as a title sponsor, it’s to be spent in terms of services or otherwise taking care of one title sponsorship and we don’t think that any company might be ready to take up that responsibility now.
BCCI has been saying that they are not paying the Chinese sponsors but they are receiving money from them, which is why they wanted to retain the Chinese sponsor. As we all know that for 13 seasons IPL has been the only recession-free property we have seen despite the financial situation globally going up and down. 475 billion dollar property it has thrown every year. Currently, four big companies are in the queue to jump into this heavy game. But yes, Vivo will be exiting but we are still unaware whether the complete deal is broken or just this year. But if they are exiting we know that four sponsors have lined up. The process is that once the exit is complete, the BCCI will throw the tenders and the tendering process will go to the highest bidder. BCCI might make a formal statement at some point between today and tomorrow but as far as they are concerned they have not yet terminated the Vivo deal. This puts the decision on Vivos’s hand to whether to remain or go into conscious uncoupling.
This year we will have a standalone sponsor and good news to BCCI is that four big companies are offering a bargain. The biggest and most likely party to become the title sponsor might be reliance Jio as they have invested in ever team of the IPL. Jio has been making to headlines for a few consecutive weeks and as tech giants are pouring their money on jio, this would be the biggest open opportunity for jio to grab. Jio logo can be visible in the jersey of every team. During the annual jio meet, Jio has given its proposal of involvement to BCCI and now in the leading position to grab this offer. The next equal bidder is TATA. Tata not only want to become title sponsorship, but they also are the leading medical facility provider for the IPL in UAE. The Tata medical will conduct the entire IPL season and provide medical aid to all staff. When the China-India dispute broke, Tata has cleverly sensed the opportunity and has delivered the proposal beforehand and has lined up the race for title sponsorship.
BCCI was back lashed terribly for deciding to keep the Chinese sponsorship which caused a lot of controversies and let to the hash tag of “BOYCOTT IPL” go trending. IPL is the game entire India is crazy for and at a time like this where a pandemic has locked us all inside with no good news anywhere, the return of IPL was the happiest news ever but with the Chinese sponsorship, it created a danger for IPL on its own. At a time where Indians are boycotting the Chinese products in and of itself, this decision of Vivo to back out is safe as it’s a matter of public opinion. Even if BCCI will see a major loss but the chance to maintain a good season will be provided by many big bidders. It’s time to wait and see who grabs this major opportunity and how in just one month are they going to reform the entire sponsorship. This IPL is indeed an interesting one and all we are waiting for is this live action to begin and add some dopamine to our lives.