OPPO wins Indian team sponsorship rights till 2022

Star India decided not to bid again for the sponsorship rights with their four-year deal with team India ending on March 31, 2017 © AFP

OPPO Mobiles India, the smartphone manufacturer, has won the Indian team sponsorship rights for a five-year period, starting April 1 2017. OPPO Mobiles will pay INR 1079 crore (approx US$ 162 million) for five years after a bid of INR 768 crore (approx US$ 115 million) from Vivo, the only other bidder. The minimum reserve price was set by the BCCI at INR 538 crore (approx US$ 81 million).

OPPO’s bid was worth INR 4.61 crore (approx US$ 693,000) per match for bilateral series and 1.51 crore (approx US$ 227,000) per match for ICC sponsored tournaments. The existing team sponsor, Star India, whose contract expires on March 31, had paid 1.92 crore (approx US$ 289,000) and 61 lakh (approx US$ 92,000) per match for bilateral and ICC tournaments respectively. The team sponsorship rights include the right to be called the official team sponsor, and to display a commercial logo on the men’s, women’s, Under-19 and A teams’ kits.

BCCI CEO Rahul Johri said the bid revealed the value of a partnership with the India team. “Star India gave us 203 crore (approx US$ 30.5 million) in four years. OPPO has paid us 1079 crore over five years, which far exceeds the previous highest [contract],” he told ESPNcricinfo . “It really shows the true value of Indian cricket and the belief that companies have in Indian cricket. Because only once you have belief can you put in that kind of amount.”

Johri said nine companies had obtained the tender document following which two of those – OPPO and Vivo – submitted bids. The bids were opened in the presence of the companies at noon on Tuesday. “We floated the tender and there were nine companies – OPPO, Vivo, Star India, PayTM, Hero, Group M, DNA, DBS Bank and Encompass – that got the tender document,” he said. “Of the nine, two companies submitted the tender today – OPPO and Vivo.

“The tenders come into envelops, there is a technical evaluation and a financial bid. First, the technical bids are opened and examined for completion in terms of legal requirements by the BCCI lawyers and lawyers from Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. And, all financial aspects of the bid are evaluated by Deloitte. Once Deloitte tabulated the final numbers, we showed both parties each other’s numbers and the one with the higher number gets [the contract].”

Diana Eduljee, member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, said the committee was satisfied with the bidding process. “There was transparency and everything was in order,” she said in a press conference in Mumbai. “We are very happy with this bid because it has put cricket first and everything else in the background. This is a very positive sign and positive beginning for all of us. We hope to go forward from here.”

Star India CEO Uday Shankar had recently expressed apprehensions over the clarity on the Future Tours Programme (FTP). He said Star India had decided to not bid again given the “volatility” surrounding the game. “”We have no clarity on the Future Tours Program. The contract [with BCCI] says schedules can be changed at the will of BCCI and how does that work? The minimum price has already been fixed for each match that the bidder has to pay,” Shankar had told Times of India.

“Now, can the value for an India-Australia series be the same as that for an India-Zimbabwe game? Is it the same for a Test with Bangladesh as it would be for an ODI or T20 with England or Australia? We have no clarity on any of this. So, on what basis does a potential bidder walk into this? The commitments being asked for are too onerous without any clarity.”

Johri, however, said there was no ambiguity surrounding India’s FTP. “That [FTP] is already part of the tender document,” he said at the press conference. “Today’s result is testimony that there is no ambiguity. We play 259 games in total.” He also rejected the suggestion that big brands were no longer interested in investing in Indian cricket. “If you look at somebody putting 1079 crore for a five-year sponsorship, the company in its own right is a big company. That is testimony to the confidence in BCCI and Indian cricket,” he said.

Sky Li, global vice-president and president of Oppo Mobiles India Pvt Ltd., said OPPO aimed to reach new heights alongside the India team. “Cricket in India isn’t just a sport, it is also a way of life, a culture, even a religion,” he said. “OPPO is the most adored youth-centralised brand. In India we also have been growing fast.”

Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. @scarletrun

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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