VIVO is likely to pull out as the Indian Premier League’s
title sponsor for this year and is in talks with the BCCI for an
“amicable separation” amid rising Sino-India diplomatic tensions.
The one-year pullout could be treated as a moratorium period and if
the relations improve, BCCI may look at inking a fresh three-year deal
with the company from 2021 to 2023 on revised terms. The IPL will be
held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10 this year.
“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 title sponsors for
one year,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Chinese sponsorship became a bone of contention after the BCCI
declared it would review the deals following the violent clashes between
the armies of both the countries in eastern Ladakh.
The clash, which led to the killing of 20 Indian soldiers, triggered
public outrage and led to calls of boycotting Chinese companies and
While the IPL Governing Council on Sunday retained all the sponsors,
including Vivo which annually pays Rs 440 crore (approximately) as part
of a five-year deal lasting till 2022, there is a strong possibility
that the company might part ways for a year.
The Board official PTI spoke to said that whenever a decision is
taken, it will be amicable and the BCCI is not looking at encashing the
“In different circumstances, if the sponsors don’t keep commitment,
BCCI can encash the bank guarantee which it had earlier done in case of
errant franchises. But here, both parties are looking at an amicable
escape route,” the official said.
There were questions raised on the BCCI’s decision to retain Chinese
sponsors even as the union government banned close to 60 Chinese apps
and social media platforms.
“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 said.
The BCCI is already in talks with a couple of Indian companies who
are believed to be interested in a short-term sponsorship deal — one
“It will be difficult to make up the full amount (Rs 440 crore) in such a short time with the tournament being held overseas. Also, there won’t be much traction in an empty stadium. But we will come to that once VIVO officially quits,” he said.