Chinese phone maker Vivo is set to pull out as IPL title sponsor, a development that erupted a day after RSS wing Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has threatened to disrupt the tournament if BCCI doesn’t sever its ties with the company. The world’s richest cricket tournament, IPL has been shifted to UAE this year due to the coronavirus situation in India.
Ever since the date has been finalized for the IPL, which begins from September 18 until November 10, people have been wondering whether BCCI would continue with Vivo, a Chinese entity. Mounting animosity between India and China in recent months has led to a mass boycott of Chinese products in India. The government has banned all Chinese Apps including popular video platform Tik Tok.
The Swadeshi Jagran Manch on Sunday had threatened to stall the tournament if BCCI chooses to ignore their call of snubbing Chinese sponsors for the IPL.
However, BCCI has no other option because there is widespread criticism within the country for retaining the Chinese sponsor while the standoff is mounting at the borders. Sources reveal that BCCI is mulling to rope in a title sponsor only for this year to tide over the situation. Besides, Vivo, IPL had partnered with DLF and Pepsi as title sponsorship in the past.
Vivo paid $330 million to BCCI for a five-year deal up to 2022 already. Now, the whole equation has changed for the cricket body in India. According to stats, a fallout of this magnitude will make BCCI take a hit of Rs. 440 Cr., affecting the finances of each team. In fact, it will be uphill for BCCI to scout for a new sponsor as the economy is feeble globally due to the virus pandemic.
The issue was already being discussed internally for the last couple of months after the crossfire at the borders with China. “Taking note of the border skirmish that resulted in the martyrdom of our brave jawans, the IPL Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to review IPL’s various sponsorship deals,” the IPL’s official handle had tweeted on June 19.