IPL in UAE: Tata Sons throw in their hat to be title-sponsors
Dubai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to have hit upon a viable ‘Plan B,’ to quote it’s president Sourav Ganguly, when the title-sponsors of IPL 2020 are announced on August 18 (Tuesday). The title sponsors’ spot fell vacant when VIVO, the Chinese mobile phone manufacturers, pulled out for this year in view of the Sindo-Indian tension at the Galawan Valley in June - leaving the BCCI to plug in a deficit worth Rs 440 crores (Dh 220 million).
It was on Friday, the cut-off date, when Tata Sons Ltd, which controls India’s leading salt-to-steel conglomerate, said it has submitted an expression of interest (EoI).
“We confirm we have submitted an EoI,” a spokesperson for Tata Sons told the media. Incidentally, the tenure of this sponsorship is for four months from August 18 to December 31, which will cover the 13th edition scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.
Amazon India, the country’s first gaming unicorn Dream 11, ed-tech platform Unacademy and Byju’s were reportedly in the race for the title sponsorship of IPL, which had an added fizz with Tatas joining the fray.
While releasing the ‘Expression of Interest’ on August 10, BCCI stated among it’s clauses that the sponsorship will not necessarily go to the highest bidder — it will also review the marketing potential and weigh the likely impact of the association on the IPL brand. Unconfirmed sources say the Tatas may flag the Tata Motors brand as the brand for the title-sponsorship.
“I wouldn’t call it as a financial crisis. It’s just a little bit of a blip,” Ganguly said during a webinar last week when questioned about the VIVO pullout. “BCCI, it’s a very a strong foundation - the game, the players, the administrators in the past have made this game so strong that BCCI is able to handle all these blips.”
Meanwhile, franchises are busy tying up new sponsorship deals for the season ahead with Rajasthan Royals roping in Niine, a personal hygiene company which produces sanitary napkins, hand sanitizer and hand wash products as their shirt sponsors - with their logos appearing on the back of the Royals’ shirts.
Welcoming Niine to the Royals family, Rajasthan Royals’ Executive Chairman, Ranjit Barthakur said: “We are delighted to welcome Niine on board, who have been frontrunners in making a change in the way menstruation is perceived in the society. The synergy between the two organisations to work on women empowerment is something we are excited about. Their work towards protecting the environment through safe disposal with their products has been remarkable and is again something that we’re proud to be associated with.’’