Can there be a new brand logo in place of Oppo on Indian cricket team’s jersey next year? The possibility is not ruled out if market sources are to be believed. Oppo, according to a source privy to developments, is working on to off-load the contract to another brand.
China’s BBK Industries-owned smartphone brand, it is learnt, has approached the Board of Control for Cricket in India for permission to pass on the contract to another brand.
A digital tech start-up, among the leading sponsors of Indian cricket, is said to have agreed in principle for replacing Oppo as the Indian cricket team sponsor. However, the final deal will only be confirmed following the BCCI nod.
Oppo had acquired Indian cricket team’s sponsorship rights in March 2017 for a five-year cycle at a whopping ₹ 1,079 crore, outbidding Vivo’s ₹ 768 crore offer. The company at present is paying ₹4.61 crore per match for series and tournaments hosted by national cricket boards. The per match fee for an International Cricket Council or Asian Cricket Council event is ₹1.56 crore.
This by far has been the best deal for the Indian cricket team sponsorship, surpassing the ₹ 3.34 crore Sahara India paid in year 2012-2013. After Sahara’s unceremonious exit, BCCI’s broadcast partner Star Sports had sponsored the team at ₹ 1.92 crore per international match other than the ICC and the ACC competitions, for which the deal was much less.
After BCCI’s initial contracts with ITC, which promoted brand Wills on the Team India playing kit, Sahara had sponsored the national team between 2002 and 2012.
The contract has strong binding clauses laden with heavy penalties and bank guarantees if the brand does not honour its contractual obligations. However, an amicable exit can be possible if Oppo manages to get another brand on similar or more favourable terms to the board, the source said.
InsideSport.co had sent text messages to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri for clarification. He has neither confirmed or denied the development. An email to Oppo has also not been received any response. Oppo’s media agency too was approached with a query. They too did not revert with an answer.
Oppo, having entered the Indian market in 2013 with aggressive marketing spends, had last year slashed its brand promotion budgets to turn profitable.