Vivo might withdraw as title sponsor of IPL: Reports
Chinese mobile manufacturer Vivo might pull out as the title sponsor of the 13th Indian Premier League edition in the wake of ongoing border tensions. The update comes two days after the IPL Governing Council retained all the tournament sponsors. Reportedly, Vivo has been in talks with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) regarding an "amicable separation".
The pullout will be treated as moratorium period
It has been learned the one-year pullout will be treated as a moratorium period. If the relations improve, the BCCI could sign a three-year deal (2021-2023) with the company on revised terms. However, there is no official update on the same. Earlier, it was reported that the yearly title sponsorship deal with Vivo will be reviewed following the public outrage against Chinese products.
The discussions are still on: BCCI official
"Yes, the discussions are on between BCCI office-bearers (president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah) with the representatives of the company. There is a possibility that Vivo will not be the title sponsor for one year," a senior BCCI official told PTI.
IPL Governing Council had retained all the sponsors
The IPL Governing Council, on Sunday, announced that all the IPL sponsors including Vivo will be retained for the upcoming season. Notably, the decision to continue with the Chinese company as title sponsor drew public criticism. In 2017, the Chinese mobile phone brand 'Vivo' bagged the sponsorship rights for Rs. 2,199 crore (Rs. 440 crore annually), for a five-year period.
Why is Chinese sponsorship in IPL being targeted?
Previously, the Government of India banned 59 Chinese apps as the Indo-China stand-off continued on the border. Ever since, the BCCI has been under the scanner for promoting Chinese products through sponsorship deals. Hence, there is a possibility that Vivo could officially take an exit.
'The cricket board needs to be cautious'
The official added the authorities had to act wisely after deciding to review Chinese sponsorship. "These are sensitive times and need a cautious approach. Once you had said that you will review sponsorship and then did nothing about it, would raise a question mark over your intent on dealing with the Chinese companies," the official added.
What happens if Vivo officially backs out?
If Vivo officially exits, the BCCI may consider signing-up short term sponsorship deals with several companies to fill in. "Even if the board can get a replacement at 50% of the value, it'll be an achievement. Anything more than that will actually be a shot in the arm. Let's hope things settle amicably," industry stakeholders were quoted as saying by TOI.