Even as Vivo contemplates running its full distance as title sponsors of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is adding new brands to its money-spinning domestic event, the IPL. (More Cricket News)
According to a well-placed source, the BCCI is a few signatures away from signing up with GROWW, an online trading and wealth management company, as an IPL partner.
GROWW will be the IPL's fifth partner and has made a Rs 140 crore offer for three years (2021-2023) to the BCCI.
The IPL already has four official partners -- Unacademy, Dream11, CRED and Tata Motors. There is a possibility that a sixth partner will be added.
Since last year, after Vivo made a temporary retreat as IPL title sponsors due to the tense political climate between India and China in the wake of the Galwan Valley clash in Ladakh, the BCCI has added sponsors to offset its revenue loss.
Although fantasy cricket platform Dream11 stepped in as IPL 2020 title sponsors, its Rs 222 crore deal was almost half of what Vivo was scheduled to pay (440 crores) as part of the Chinese mobile phone maker's five-year deal with the cricket board.
On February 18, the day of the IPL 2021 auctions, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel announced that Vivo will continue as title sponsors but insiders say that Vivo still wanted to 'assign' its sponsorship to any company that made an offer that was either matching or where the company's losses were minimal.
As per Vivo's contract with BCCI, it has to pay Rs 1396 crores to BCCI over 2021-2023 to fulfill its commitment of 2199 crores over five years. Vivo can't exit the contract.
Insiders say Vivo would have assigned the sponsorship this year itself but the two offers it got -- Rs 950 crores from Unacademy and 750 from Dream11 -- fell far short of its minimum expectation of 1200 crores.
Vivo, it is learnt, will review its title sponsorship deal in 2022.
It would still have to cough up (484 + 512= 996 crores) to BCCI. Two things will decide the way forward for the handset makers -- the political situation between India and China and a smart offer that Vivo will be happy to catch.