Guwahati: Chinese mobile phone giant Vivo has decided to part its way from the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Vivo India, the title sponsors of IPL, has decided to exit from the contractual agreement which it had entered in 2017 for five years.
The development comes just days ahead of the 2020 season of the popular Twenty20 tournament which is scheduled to be held in the UAE September 19 to November 10.
Vivo India won the title rights with a winning bid of Rs 2,199 crore and was paying BCCI an approximate of about Rs 440 crore per year. This decision came after BCCI decided to retain all its sponsors including Vivo which received a huge amount of social media backlash due to the diplomatic and border tensions between India and China.
The withdrawal of Vivo at the last hour is a big blow for both BCCI and the IPL franchises in an already difficult financial climate due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BCCI now faces another tough challenge of finding a replacement for the title sponsor of the cash-rich league. All this comes at a time when the pandemic has already left the markets in high distress and that too in such a minimal time frame when the IPL is scheduled to begin in less than 45 days.
While BCCI doesn’t expect that they will find a replacement at the value that Vivo India was paying, they are thinking of bringing in multiple official title sponsors so that a near about of that value can be recovered. E-commerce companies and online edu-startups will be some keen competitors to fill up this space as can be seen with BYJU’S already being the title sponsor of the Indian Cricket Team.