The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended the title sponsorship deal for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 with Chinese brand Vivo earlier this week. The deal was suspended for this year after calls for a boycott of Chinese products and brands in the aftermath of the Galwan Valley clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh where 20 Indian soldiers were martyred.
Vivo and BCCI decided to suspend their partnership for IPL 2020 which is scheduled to take place in the UAE after the board received immense backlash for retaining all the sponsors including the Chinese handset makers. While many believe Vivo pulling out of the deal might be a huge blow for the BCCI with the tournament scheduled to start from September 19, board president Sourav Ganguly has described the suspension of the deal as a ‘blip’ and has rubbished talks of it leading to a financial crisis for BCCI.
Vivo paid approximately Rs 440 crores per annum as part of its five-year deal with BCCI as the title sponsors of IPL from 2018. The sponsorship deal is a big part of BCCI’s revenue and the board might have to now settle with a contract much lesser than what Vivo paid in a COVID-stricken market. However, Ganguly said BCCI is a strong organisation and can comfortably weather the storm.
“I wouldn’t call it a financial crisis. It’s just a little bit of a blip. And the only way you can do it is by being professionally strong over a period of time. Big things don’t come overnight. And big things don’t go away overnight. Your preparation for a long period of time gets you ready for losses, gets you ready for successes,” Ganguly said during a webinar organised by Learnflix, an education app.
“You keep your other options open. It is like Plan A and Plan B. Sensible people do it. Sensible brands do it. Sensible corporates do it. BCCI, it’s a very strong foundation – the game, the players, the administrators in the past have made this game so strong that BCCI is able to handle all these blips,” he added.