The battle to acquire sponsorship rights for Team India’s jersey has intensified with the likes of DBS Bank, PayTM and Reliance Jio and Vivo joining the race. Wednesday was the last day for the sale of bid documents. Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Vivo and STAR India are among the ones to pick the bid document, according to sources in the BCCI.
Star India too has bout the tender papers, but they are highly unlikely to pitch for the rights, which will leave this a four-pronged run between Jio, Vivo, PayTM and DBS Bank. The broadcaster had recently made a statement that it will not bid for the jersey rights. However, officials in the board see this as an attempt to lower the price for the property. BCCI also maintains that there is considerable interest and many big guns are bidding to acquire the rights.
Star was the lone bidder for the property in December 2013, when it had acquired the rights at Rs 1.9 crore for the bilateral games and Rs 61 lakh per match for the ICC games. The deal that ran from January 1, 2014, to March 31, 2017, will come to an end with the current India-Australia cricket series. The reserve price now is raised by 15 per cent to Rs 2.27 crore for the bilateral matches and Rs 70 lakh for the ICC games.
It is reliably learnt that Jio Telecom, taking the Indian telecommunication market by storm, and Vivo Mobiles, title sponsors of the Indian Premier League, are going all out to require the rights for the ‘most visible’ property in Indian cricket. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio has ambitious plans of reaching out to 90% of India’s mobile population. The company with the biggest marketing purse is looking at cricket as the best platform to achieve its targeted 100 million users.
DBS bank had last year roped in Sachin Tendulkar as their brand ambassador.
Sources in the BCCI maintain, there are big players in fray to acquire the jersey rights. Even though the reserve price is raised by a mere 15%, the board is expecting much higher bids. Star, in spite of being the lone bidder four years ago, had tendered Rs 40 lakh and one lakh higher for the rights of the respective base price of bilateral and ICC matches.