New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday invited bids for the sponsorship rights to the national teams for the five years to 2022. These rights are currently held by broadcaster Star India Pvt. Ltd. The board’s three-year deal with Star India expires on 31 March.
“Under this Invitation To Tender (ITT), the winning bidder will be granted exclusive team sponsorship rights, for all matches/series in which the national team participates during the period from 1 April, 2017 up to 31 March 2022,” stated the tender notice published in the English daily The Times of India on Monday.
The tender documents can be purchased for Rs3 lakh from 13 February to 1 March at the BCCI office in Mumbai. All bids must be submitted on 7 March.
“BCCI reserves the right at its discretion to cancel or amend entire bidding process at any stage and to reject any and all bids without providing any reason,” said the notice.
In December 2013, Star India, the local broadcasting arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., won the sponsorship rights after the board disqualified incumbent sponsor Sahara, which had pulled the plug on its sponsorship deal a few months ago owing to a financial dispute with BCCI, Mint had reported.
Sahara group had claimed it had been disqualified because of the dispute with BCCI over IPL’s Pune franchise.
The deal includes the right to be called the official team sponsor and the right to display a commercial logo on the clothing of the men’s cricket team, the Under-19 side, the men’s A-Team and women’s squad.
Team India’s sponsorship rights are the most coveted by local marketers, said Vinit Karnik, the business head of ESP Properties—the sports and entertainment arm at media buying agency GroupM.
“Cricket is undoubtedly the most popular sport in India and its national pride. Visibility of Team India is for more that 100 days on television which makes it even more valuable from an advertiser’s perspective,” Karnik added.
However, it is not clear as to how many advertisers will pick up the bid documents this time, considering BCCI has been mired in controversies.
“Cricket in India has seen several controversies before, including match-fixing. But the value of cricket does not diminish in this country. The game is bigger than the administrative problems,” said Tuhin Mishra, co-founder of Baseline Ventures—a sports marketing and entertainment and licensing company.
Mishra expects advertisers in categories, such as mobile wallets, e-commerce and handset manufacturers to pick up the tender document for rights to Indian team sponsorship. “We have some clients in these categories. You should also remember that the team is playing extremely well.”
There needs to be more clarity on sponsorship terms before interested bidders pick up the documents, said a potential bidder on condition of anonymity.