Chinese mobile manufacturer Vivo on Tuesday retained the Indian Premier League’s title sponsorship for the next five years (2018-22) with a whopping Rs 2,199 crore bid, around 554% higher than the previous contract. The annual break-up of the deal works out to nearly Rs 440 crore per year. The other bidder for the title sponsorship was rival Chinese handset manufacturer Oppo, whose bid stood at Rs 1,430 crore. Oppo had earlier trumped Vivo to secure the Indian cricket team’s jersey rights for a five-year period (2017-21). Vivo and Oppo are subsidiaries of Chinese electronics company BBK Electronics.
Board of Control for Cricket in India CEO Rahul Johri told FE, “The base price was Rs 120 crore per year; Vivo is an existing sponsor renewing its title rights at a much higher value, which talks a lot about the value of IPL as amongst the biggest sponsorship opportunity.” Vivo has been making a big push into Indian sports. It also acquired the title sponsorship of the Pro Kabaddi League in May this year. On the international stage, the smartphone brand also announced its agreement with FIFA to sponsor the FIFA World Cup for six years, covering two tournament cycles. This means Vivo will become the official sponsor of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.
Ramakrishnan R, co-founder and director at Baseline Ventures, a sports marketing and brand licensing firm, said, “With the base price at `120 crore, Vivo have bid really high. It’s not a very smart move but it seems that Vivo’s strategy is to penetrate the Indian market deeply and make sure everyone is talking about them”. A statement issued by BCCI mentions that in the upcoming five IPL seasons, Vivo and IPL will have extensive cooperation in terms of sports events, on-ground activities and marketing campaigns. IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said, “We are delighted to have Vivo joining us once again as the title sponsor for IPL for next five years. The association with Vivo has been great for the past two seasons and I am sure they will continue to make it bigger and better.”
The five-year title sponsorship rights are starting August 1, 2017, and ending on July 31, 2022. Earlier, Vivo had bagged the IPL title sponsorship for 2016 and 2017 — the ninth and tenth editions of the league — at a reported cost of `100 crore per year. Vivo had replaced PepsiCo after the beverage giant pulled out its sponsorship from the tournament. The five-year deal with Pepsi was slated to end in 2017.
Pepsi became the title sponsor of IPL in 2013 after it bid Rs 396.8 crore for five seasons. Before Pepsi, DLF had paid Rs 200 crore to become title sponsors of the tournament from 2008 till 2012. The BCCI had bids for the title sponsorship earlier this year and the tender process was open till June 21 with the applications acceptable till noon on June 27. The IPL Media Rights Invitation to Tender on the next rights period will commence on July 17. All these processes shall be for the next five-year cycle.