Even as the BCCI remains in a state of flux, Indian cricket’s stocks only seem to be on the rise. On Tuesday, Oppo Mobiles India Private Limited bagged the sponsorship rights for the Indian cricket team for the next five years for a staggering sum of Rs 1079 crore. The Chinese electronics manufacturing company will take over from Star India, who had paid Rs 538 crore for their four-year term in 2013, which comes to an end on March 31. The second highest-bid this time around came from Vivo, another Chinese technology giant and the title-sponsor for the IPL since 2015, who bid Rs 768 crore.
A total of nine companies had picked up the tender for the sponsorship rights. In addition to Oppo and Vivo, the others included Star, Paytm, Hero, GroupM, DNA Networks, DBS Bank and Ncompass International but only the first two turned up for the bidding process. “Both bids far exceeded the minimum reserve price set by BCCI ,which was Rs 538 crore. These bids are testimony to the strength of Indian cricket. It is testimony to belief of people in Indian cricket,” said BCCI CEO Rahul Johri once the tender process was completed.
By taking over as the official sponsor of Indian cricket, Oppo will now have their logo on the jerseys worn by all representative Indian teams, including the seniors, under-19, India A and women’s effective from April 2. They will, however, have to wait till the Champions Trophy that begins on June 1 in England to see that happen considering that’s the next international assignment for the Indian team following the Test series against Australia.
Johri informed that the Indian team are scheduled to play 222 bilateral games and 37 ICC-tournament games during the contract period and that the full details had been mentioned in the tender. Oppo will pay Rs 4.61 crore per bilateral game and Rs. 1.51 crore for every game in an ICC event.
“The previous highest was Sahara, who paid Rs 3.34 crore per match. And Star India for the last cycle was paying Rs 1.71 crore on an average and it has gone up to Rs 4.17 crore per game,” Johri added.
Oppo is among the fastest growing phone companies in the Indian market according to Sky Li, vice-president and president of their India business, who revealed that the company has grown from 1.2 per cent in December 2015 to 11.7 per cent this January in terms of market share.
There had been concerns about the bidding for the rights after Star withdrew from rebidding to have their contract renewed with CEO Uday Shankar citing “lack of clarity” in terms of the BCCI’s strong footing in the ICC. However, Johri reiterated, “Today’s result is testimony to the strength of Indian cricket. There is no ambiguity.”