IPL GC to check Chinese sponsorship offers

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has changed its stand on Chinese sponsors for the Indian Premier League (IPL) by announcing that the IPL Governing Council will “review various IPL sponsorship deals” next week.

“Taking note of the border skirmish that resulted in the martyrdom of our brave jawans, the IPL Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to review IPL’s various sponsorship deals,” read a tweet on the IPL’s verified handle late on Friday night.

The move is in stark contrast to the Board’s stand on Thursday when treasurer Arun Dhumal had said that the BCCI had no plans to revisit the IPL and BCCI sponsorship deals.

At least four of BCCI’s major sponsors have substantial Chinese investors. IPL title sponsor VIVO, the mobile phone manufacturer, is a Chinese company, while online fantasy game entity Dream11 — an associate sponsor of BCCI and IPL — has Chinese investment.

Similarly, e-learning platform Byju’s and Paytm — India’s team sponsor and the BCCI’s title sponsor for cricket in India respectively — are also funded by Chinese entities.

Despite the fate of IPL-2020 continuing to remain uncertain, all the sponsorship deals are long-term.

If the BCCI decides to terminate the deals and invite new bids for the next edition — be it 2020 or 2021 — it may severely dent BCCI’s coffers.

Despite broadcast deals dominating cricket’s revenue model, sponsorship deals are vital for the IPL and international cricket.

According to Impact of COVID-19 on revenues of world cricket and Indian sports, a paper published by former IPL chief operating officer Sundar Raman, 18% of global cricket revenue is generated through sponsorship.

When it comes to the IPL, Raman noted that sponsorship makes up 30% of the annual revenue, with broadcast deals (65%) and gate receipts (5%) making up the rest.

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