Vivo’s exit comes against the backdrop of rising anti-China sentiment in the country after clashes in the Galwan Valley left 20 Indian military personnel dead.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday officially announced the withdrawal of Vivo India from the title sponsorship of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The annual sporting tournament is scheduled to start from September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “The BCCI and Vivo Mobile India have mutually decided to pause their partnership for the 2020 season of Indian Premier League,” according to a joint statement issued by the cricket board and the mobile firm.
Vivo India, subsidiary of China-based handset maker Vivo had paid a whopping Rs 2,199 crore to acquire the IPL title sponsorship rights for five years starting 2018, a staggering 454% higher than the contract with PepsiCo. BCCI earns about Rs 440 crore from Vivo every season—50% of the amount is distributed among the franchises. Vivo had also bagged the IPL title sponsorship for 2016 and 2017 following Pepsi’s abrupt exit at a reported cost of Rs 100 crore per year.
Vivo’s exit comes against the backdrop of rising anti-China sentiment in the country after clashes in the Galwan Valley left 20 Indian military personnel dead. According to industry experts, deep-pocketed companies like Reliance Jio which is already invested in IPL and Amazon may look to sponsor the event. Reportedly, ed-tech firm Byju’s and beverage maker Coca-Cola India could also bid for the same.
The interested sponsor will have an “upper hand” to negotiate, noted analysts. It will make little sense for a brand to pay a premium to sponsor the event unless BCCI is forthcoming to give it visibility in terms of a continuing association. They estimate the new sponsor to pay anywhere between Rs 220-Rs 350 crore for the deal.