BCCI announces Oppo as the new Team India sponsor

Oppo's association with the BCCI will start from April 2017 for a period of five years.

Representative image.   -  Getty Images

The administrative mess in the BCCI may have hit its public perception, but the fact that it didn't result in loss of interest from public at large and investors was underlined by the fact that the Indian cricket team’s sponsorship rights were sold for a record high of Rs. 1079 crore for the next five years.

Oppo Mobiles India Pvt Ltd, the Indian arm of Chinese mobile manufacturer, outbid its counterpart Vivo to bag the prized spot on the front of the Indian team’s jersey from April 2017 to March 2022. Oppo will thus replace Star India Pvt Ltd, who decided not to bid after buying the tender document citing vulnerability in the governance of the game.
Record high
Interestingly, Oppo will be paying more than double the amount that Star was shelling out for the past four years. According to Oppo’s winning bid, it will pay Rs 4.61 crore per game in bilateral series and Rs. 1.51 crore per ICC-tournament game. With India scheduled to play at least 222 bilateral matches and 37 ICC-tournament ties, the average amount Vivo would be shelling out per game is Rs. 4.17 crore. Star India, in comparison, paid Rs. 1.71 crore on an average per game.

“These bids are testimony to the strength of Indian cricket. It is testimony to belief of people in Indian cricket,” said Rahul Johri, the BCCI chief executive, while welcoming Oppo into the “BCCI family”.

Sky Li, India president of Oppo, hoped to tap into the younger generation through its association with Indian cricket. "Cricket in India is not just a sport. It's also a way of life, it’s a culture or even a religion,” Li said. "We hope that we can co-operate with the cricket team, which will also help our brand value in future. According to date from our sales department, we have actually grown from 1.2 per cent in December 2015 to 11.7 per cent this January in terms of market share.”

The bidding process, which saw only Oppo and Vivo turning up from the nine companies who had bought the tender document, was completed under the watchful eyes of Diana Edulji, the former India women’s captain who is a member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators.

“Absolutely satisfied. There was a lot of transparency and everything was in order,” said Edulji. “We are very happy with this bidding because it has put cricket first and everything else in the background. It’s a very positive sign, positive beginning for all of us and we hope to go forward from here.”
“No ambiguity”
While backing out of bidding for renewal of team sponsorship rights, Star India had cited lack of “consensual leadership” in world cricket, referring to the stand-off between BCCI and the ICC. However, Johri, who thanked Star India for its four-year association, did not agree with the assessment of Uday Shankar, the Star India chief executive.

“The details of it were clear in the tender document. Today’s result is testimony to the strength of Indian cricket. There is no ambiguity,” he said, when asked about Shankar’s remarks.

The team sponsorship windfall

  • The current deal: Star India was paying Rs. 1.91 crore for each bilateral games and Rs. 0.61 lakh for every ICC-tournament match India
  • The base price: The BCCI had set a base price of Rs. 2.2 crore for a bilateral game and 0.70 lakh for each of India’s matches in ICC tournaments.
  • The new deal: Oppo has bid for Rs. 4.61 crore per bilateral game and Rs. 1.51 crore for every ICC-tournament match.
  • The record: Oppo will thus on an average pay BCCI Rs. 4.17 crore for every game India plays for the next five years. The previous highest bid for the team sponsorship was Rs. 3.34 crore per game, paid by Sahara India Pariwar.

The details of Indian team’s commercial deals

  • Team title sponsors: Oppo Mobiles (Rs. 1079 crore from April 2017 to March 2022)
  • Kit sponsors: Nike India (Approximately Rs. 370 crore from January 2016 to September 2020)
  • Title sponsors: PayTM (Rs 203.28 crore from October 2015 to September 2019)
  • Broadcast sponsors (TV, mobile, internet): Star India (Rs. 3851 crore from July 2012 to March 2018)
  • Other sponsors: Janalakshmi Financial Services, Hyundai Motors and PepsiCo India are official partners for the 2016-17 home season, details of their deals are undisclosed.
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