The Chinese smartphone maker, Vivo, would not be sponsoring IPL 2020 which is going to be conducted from 19th September. Vivo acquired the IPL title sponsorship in 2018 for Rs 2,199 crore. According to this deal, the company is said to pay Rs 439 crore every year to BCCI.  

A title sponsor is the most important sponsor for any team/tournament. It is the most expensive deal, thus, a major source of funds comes from a title sponsor. In return, a title sponsor enjoys most of the benefit to market itself. It is on the jerseys of every team. It features on the website extensively and also has access of players on various events.

This mega tournament would not be played in India this year due to the spread of COVID-19. It has been shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). After the confirmation of the venue, Vivo announced that they won’t be sponsoring this year due to addition of cost.

Apart from higher expenditure, the source of revenue also posses a big question mark as no crowd will be allowed during the matchday. Increasing the cost of travel and stay, bio-security and logistics will increase the expenditure. Thus, piling more pressure on any sponsor.

“It’s important to tell our sponsors whether we would be able to commit to our deliverables. If we are not able to do so, then there will be a reduction in the sponsorship amount. This year, branding in the stadium is not available — teams are not playing at their home venues — and that’s just one example. Sponsorship revenue will come down,” said the chief executive of an IPL franchise.

Right now, BCCI is looking for a short-term replacement sponsor. The relationship between India and China is also under scrutiny. Though, the cricket experts do not believe that this was the major reason for Vivo to back out this year. The financial implications are real and can hurt any company in this COVID time. With time running out, the Indian cricket board is also under tremendous pressure to find a title sponsor.