BCCI seeks title sponsor for IPL

IPL trophy
The five-year sponsorship agreement is expected to undergo the bidding process around January 13-14. File photo: IANS

Mumbai: In a quest for a new title sponsor for the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has laid down stringent conditions for potential bidders, said a report.

Notably, the BCCI has expressed reluctance to entertain bids from Chinese companies or brands, citing concerns about associations with nations lacking friendly relations with India.

“While specific countries or brands have not been mentioned explicitly, the BCCI's decision stems from the public backlash and a negative experience with Vivo, a Chinese smartphone maker. This situation arose in the aftermath of the border standoff between India and China. Subsequently, Vivo chose to exit from the five-year sponsorship agreement, relinquishing the rights to the Tata Group,” read a Cricbuzz report.

A crucial clause in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) reads, "Each bidder which is a corporate entity must not be incorporated in a jurisdiction/territory with which India does not have a friendly relation. In the event, any corporate(s) which is a shareholder or a proposed shareholder in the Bidder is incorporated in a jurisdiction/territory with which India does not have friendly relations, the Bidder will be required to provide a detailed chart of the shareholding in such Bidder or it ultimate Parent Company and the details of ultimate owners/beneficiaries of all shareholders which are body corporate in such Bidder or its ultimate Parent Company along with the Bid Documents as a material obligations"

The BCCI has expanded its list of ineligible bidders to include companies associated with fantasy games, sportswear, cryptocurrency, betting, gambling, and alcohol products. Notably, firms involved in athleisure, performance wear, and sportswear are also barred from participating.

Despite the initial response to the sponsorship tender not being overwhelmingly positive, the BCCI anticipates attracting reputable bidders given the IPL's global stature. The five-year sponsorship agreement, set to extend until 2028, is expected to undergo the bidding process around January 13-14, with the ITT document available for purchase until January 8.

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