he title sponsorship rights saga for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is far from a closed deal. Despite Dream 11 emerging as the highest bidder in Tuesday’s bidding process, sources have confirmed to India Today that the process of announcing the fantasy sports platform as the title sponsor of IPL is not as straightforward as it looks.
Dream11’s bid, it has come to light, is a conditional bid for 3 years, starting from 2020 and running until 2022. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) isn’t ready to agree to the 3-year term.
VIVO was paying the BCCI Rs 440 crore annually for the 5-year deal which they bagged in 2017 by bidding Rs 2,199 crores in 2017. The Chinese mobile manufacturer and BCCI suspended their deal for IPL 2020 in the wake of border tensions between India and China.
Dream11 on Tuesday emerged as the highest bidder for IPL 2020 title sponsorship with a bid of Rs 222 crore. The sports fantasy platform outbid online education platforms Byju’s and Unacademy to emerge on top. Notably, Byju’s had submitted a bid of Rs 201 crore while Unacademy bid Rs 170 crore.
The BCCI had made it clear when it called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) on August 10 that it may not award the title rights to the highest bidder but the decision will depend on a lot of factors which will be evaluated and examined by the board after the bidding process.
The BCCI feels that it will be able to get much more money than Dream11’s bid of Rs 222 crore in 2021 and 2022. While market analysts had predicted a dip in the money for IPL 2020 title sponsorship due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI is looking forward to better things in 2021 and 2022.
The BCCI is unwilling to offer the title sponsorship rights to Dream11 at this price for 3 years. However, Dream11 feels that unless it can secure a deal for 3 years, things are not going to be easy for the company.
The BCCI hasn’t yet issued a press release to confirm Dream11 as new title sponsor of IPL 2020, which will be played from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE.
IPL 2020 title sponsorship: What next?
Sources have told India Today that there are 2 options available to break the deadlock.
Firstly, Dream11 needs to agree to BCCI’s conditions — either increase the money for the 2nd and 3rd year of their contract for IPL title sponsorship or agree to a 1-year deal.
On the other hand, if Dream11 doesn’t agree to BCCI’s terms, the board can reject the bid and go with some other company which is willing to come forward for IPL title sponsorship rights.
Also, the VIVO and the BCCI agreed to suspend the Chinese mobile manufacturer’s title rights for IPL 2020 but the option of VIVO coming back and serving out their initial contract is still on the table.
What BCCI said when it called for the EOIs
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is clarified that BCCI shall not be obliged to award the Rights to the third party which indicates willingness to pay the highest fees in the course of discussions/ negotiations with BCCI after submitting an EOI.
“BCCI’s decision in this regard will also depend on a number of other relevant factors, including but not limited to, the manner in which the third party intends to exploit the Rights and the potential impact of the same on brand IPL as also the fan/ viewer experience, which will be examined/ evaluated by BCCI in the course of discussions/ negotiations with interested third parties who submit an EOI,” the BCCI said in a release. India Today