Vivo pulls out as title sponsor of Pro Kabaddi League
After pulling out as title sponsor of Indian Premier League, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo is set to end the association with Pro Kabaddi League as well. Notably, Vivo has served as the league's title sponsor since 2017. Reportedly, the company has decided to opt out of every such deal with negative publicity flaring up in the aftermath of Indo-China stand-off. Here is more.
'Vivo has decided to pull out of all major deals'
An official opened up on the termination. "Vivo has decided to lie low amid all negative publicity the brand was generating since the India-China clash. The company has decided to pull out of all major deals, at least for this year. Vivo will now focus on selling products via more retail discount and commissions," a person involved with the deal told The Economic Times.
Vivo had signed five-year deal in 2017
In 2017, Vivo had signed a five-year deal with the co-owners and official broadcasters Star India, worth Rs. 300 crore. Interestingly, the deal by Vivo to become the title sponsors of Pro Kabaddi League was valued as Rs. 60 crore per year. It has been learned the Chinese company informed Star India to terminate the deal midway.
Pro Kabaddi League was launched in 2014
The inaugural edition of Pro Kabaddi League was conducted in 2014. Notably, Star Sports was named the official sponsor of the league, until Vivo took over in 2017. Besides, the 2020 season remains postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Media rights likely to go for auction
The media rights of Pro Kabaddi League are likely to go for auction later this year, after the franchises rejected Star India's revenue-sharing offer. Previously, Star India had offered nearly Rs. 15 crore per year to each franchise as a share from media rights for the next five years. However, the franchises are still demanding Rs. 22 crore for each year.
'We have asked to conduct auction', says a franchise owner
The Pro Kabaddi franchises have asked for a fair and impartial auction, if the deal with Star India gets called-off. "We all have asked to conduct an auction with no 'Right to Match' to Star, just like the IPL auctions. There is a lot of value in PKL and Star's ownership of Mashal Sport is a major conflict of interest," said a franchise owner.
Vivo ends association with IPL
Recently, Vivo withdrew as title sponsor of Indian Premier League for the forthcoming season. The development comes after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Vivo decided to suspend their partnership. However, a one-year moratorium has been agreed between the board and Vivo. Meanwhile, the BCCI could issue a new RFP (Request for Proposal) to pick a replacement sponsor.