Sports fantasy platform Dream11 is all set to be title sponsors of Indian Premier League (IPL) for only the 13th edition of the tournament which will be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10, 2020.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had pushed back on Dream11’s conditional 3-year bid after it topped the bidding war on Tuesday for IPL title sponsorship.
Dream11 has now agreed to be IPL 2020 title sponsors for only this year’s edition, sources have confirmed to India Today. It will bag the title sponsorship rights that will be available only until December 31, 2020.
Dream11 on Tuesday emerged as the highest bidder for IPL 2020 title sponsorship with a bid of Rs 222 crore. The sports fantasy platform outbid online education platforms Byju’s and Unacademy to emerge on top. Notably, Byju’s had submitted a bid of Rs 201 crore while Unacademy bid Rs 170 crore.
However, BCCI was not willing to agree to a 3-year conditional bid as it feels it might be able to get much more money than Rs 222 crore in 2021 and 2022. While market analysts had predicted a dip in the money for IPL 2020 title sponsorship due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI is looking forward to better things in 2021 and 2022.
The BCCI had made it clear when it called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) on August 10 that it may not award the title rights to the highest bidder but the decision will depend on a lot of factors which will be evaluated and examined by the board after the bidding process.
Notably, VIVO was paying the BCCI Rs 440 crore annually for the 5-year deal which they bagged in 2017 by bidding Rs 2,199 crores in 2017. The Chinese mobile manufacturer and BCCI suspended their deal for IPL 2020 in the wake of border tensions between India and China.
Also, the VIVO and the BCCI agreed to suspend the Chinese mobile manufacturer’s title rights for IPL 2020 but the option of VIVO coming back and serving out their initial contract is still on the table.
The BCCI, according to sources, was willing to agree to a 1-year deal with Dream11. But a 3-year deal with Dream11 was only possible if the sports fantasy company was willing to raise its bid for 2021 and 2022. The BCCI was also ready to accept Dream11 withdraw its bid and give the title sponsorship rights to some other company that was willing to match the board’s demands.
IPL 2020 will be played from September 19 in the UAE behind closed doors. Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai will host the 53-day tournament which will conclude on a Tuesday for the 1st time in its 13-year-history.
IPL 2020 was initially postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, the BCCI managed to get hold of the September-November window after the International Cricket Council postponed the T20 World Cup, which was scheduled for October-November in Australia.