The Indian Premier League is in hot water after Vivo, India’s third-largest smartphone player, pulled out of the IPL’s title sponsorship for a year. The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) is now seeking a one-year replacement for the brand. Vivo had become an integral part with the tournament referred as Vivo IPL.
This comes after the flare-up between India and China relations due to the June 15 Galwan Valley standoff wherein 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives. India and China relations have soured ever since with the former banning Chinese origin apps and boycotting Chinese goods.
BCCI officials said they are looking for a one-year replacement for the brand since it could make its way back next year. They clarified that the arrangement would be for three years, 2021 to 2023 on revised terms and would depend on the geopolitical situation between the two countries. Vivo’s original contract was from 2018 to 2022 for Rs 2,200 crore. The firm was paying Rs 440 crore annually.
Praveen Khandelwal, secretary-general, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had earlier criticised BCCI’s decision to retain IPL sponsors. He called for the review of all other contracts with Chinese companies for the cricket league. Business Standard pointed out that firms such as Paytm, Swiggy, Dream 11 and BYJU’s, which are associated with the IPL, have Chinese investments. He had even written a letter to the Home Minister Amit Shah to take immediate cognisance of the issue and not give any permission to BCCI for holding IPL in India or Dubai or anywhere else. We have been running a ‘Boycott China’ campaign since June, Khandelwal said. Vivo’s exit is the result of this.
However, N Chandramouli, Chief Executive Officer of brand insights firm TRA Research said Vivo’s decision to exit had come as a surprise. I was shocked to hear about Vivo’s exit from the 2020 edition, but the protests were mounting, he said. I see them back next year though since they have not exited the India market.