The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 was initially scheduled from 29 March- 24 May 2020. Due to the COVID outbreak, the league was postponed for an indefinite period. However, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to stage the UAE tournament as the number of COVID-19 cases is low in the country. The IPL is now scheduled from 19 September – 10 November 2020. Apart from IPL, other sports like Formula 1, football, and England – West Indies test cricket have resumed.
IPL starting amidst all the chaos created by the pandemic is like thaw in the ice. The upcoming tournament is likely to spread positivity among fans. Sachin Tendulkar, the former Indian cricketer, is looking forward to the start of IPL. Tendulkar said, the run rates and strike rates discussion would take over the talks on COVID-19 numbers.
With less than two weeks to the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL), let us look at some of the sponsors for the tournament.
Dream 11, an Indian company based in Maharashtra, bagged the IPL title sponsorship 2020. They replaced last year’s sponsor-Vivo, a Chinese smartphone company, as they withdrew the contract for 2020. The announcement came after India’s ban on Chinese companies after the Sino-Indian border dispute. Dream 11 is forking out Rs 222 crore this year, which is ₹217.80 crore less from what Vivo was paying annually. Vivo acquired the IPL title sponsorship in 2018 for ₹2,199 crore in a five-year deal, whereas Dream 11 will be paying ₹222 crore for the first year and ₹240 crore each for the next two years.
Dream11 is a fantasy gaming platform. It is said to have a Chinese connection, too, like Vivo. The Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd backs Dream 11 to which The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said that the Chinese company’s investment in Dream 11 is in single digits, and all its employees are Indian.
Dream 11 maneuvers to create an exciting online engagement for fans sitting at home, watching the IPL matches. It has around 100 million users. The Dream 11 app allows a user to choose his team before a cricket match starts and picks players having the ability to perform well. Once the match begins, the user accumulates the points based on the player’s performance chosen by the user for his team. At the end of the game, each user’s points are summed up and ranked. Cash price is awarded based on the rank after being charged a service fee.
Dream11 edged Unacademy in a very close contest for the sponsorship of the 13th IPL edition, which is to be held from 19 September to 8 November in UAE. The latter reportedly bid around ₹171 crore. BYJU’S, the other bidder, reportedly offered around ₹201 crore. Unacademy, an ed-tech firm based in Bangalore, roped in as the official partner for the Indian Premier League 2020 for three years. Byju’s, an ed-tech firm, lost to Unacademy probably because a Chinese company finances it. With the Anti-China sentiment still prevailing, BCCI would not want to grant the sponsorship right to any company that could generate controversy.
Unacademy is a four-year-old startup aimed at preparing students for various competitive exams like Civil Services. It began its journey as a YouTube channel in 2010. As a company it was founded in 2015. Since then, it has been expanding, where it has started offering some lessons for free and others through a recently launched subscription business. The subscription service called Unacademy Plus Subscription has around 50,000 users. Overall, the platform has more than 100 million monthly views.
Hotstar continues to be the official digital streaming partner for IPL, 2020, but has withdrawn as an associate sponsor worth ₹42 crore per year.
The deal renewal between IPL streaming partner Hotstar and Jio TV did not happen for the IPL 2020. Hotstar will most likely be taking a hit in its viewership as most of Hotstar’s reach was due to free streaming by Jio TV. There is a prediction that Hotstar’s ad revenues would take a massive hit this year due to the COVID pandemic and Hotstar- Jio deal discontinuation.
Hotstar currently has around 9 million paid active users. According to the sources, their 2020 target is to achieve some 75-200 million subscriptions. This year, to watch the matches live, one will have to subscribe to the Disney+ Hotstar’s VIP plan. On the other hand, Jio has a workaround for its subscribers. Jio subscribers can live stream IPL matches with select bundles for both mobile and JioFiber broadband plans.
The IPL 2020 marks the third year of association between Tata Motors and BCCI. Tata Motors’ Altroz is one of the official partners for the league. According to the sources, Tata Motors pay in a range of 42-45 Cr for the sponsorship. Each year Tata Motors displays their flagship car in the IPL tournament. They revealed the Nexon SUV and Tata Harrier in 2018 and 2019, respectively. This year they will be using the IPL 2020 platform to showcase the new Altroz car in all the UAE matches.
Paytm, the mobile wallet brand, retains its IPL sponsorship for 2020. They have been the Umpire partners for the last two years. Also, Paytm is the title sponsor of the Indian Cricket Team. They had signed the five-year deal in for ₹326.80 crore, which they will pay over 2019 – 2023.
CRED, a credit card payments startup, becomes the third official partner of the IPL 2020. They have signed the deal for three years, which will begin on 19 September 2020 in UAE. CRED will be bundling cashback for every bill payment one will make using their credit card during the T20 matches. The CRED app is available for both Android and iOS users. Established in 2018 in Bengaluru, the startup has been in the news for its growing popularity among the users. In August 2019, it was valued at $450 million.
Leading Indian tyre manufacturer, CEAT, became the Strategic Timeout Partner of the IPL in March 2015. 3 years later, in March 2018, the deal was extended by another five years.