Dream11 wins IPL title sponsorship for Rs 222 crore
With a winning bid of `222 crore, Tencent-backed Dream11 has bagged the title sponsorship for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier league (IPL). The amount is not just half the `440 crore paid by Vivo, the association with the tournament will give the fantasy sports platform respect and mileage.
As brand strategist Ambi Parameswaran points out, big respected brands like Tata or Coca-Cola don’t need IPL to reinforce credibility. “Even Byju’s is today a household name. But like Vivo or Oppo who need legitimacy and respect, even Dream11 probably wants respect and credibility,” Parameswaran said. “For Dream11, this is a big leap forward in legitimacy as fantasy leagues have always had the overhang of quasi-betting and amateur gambling,” Sandeep Goyal chairman, Mogae Media, said. While BCCI would be relieved the sponsorship has been closed out, Santosh N, MD at D and P India Advisory, said if it is a 1-year contract, the `222-crore bid will become the base price for next year.
This could adversely impact the brand value of IPL and lower BCCI’s bargaining power.
Brand strategist Harish Bijoor said he was not too sure whether the Dream 11 sponsorship will do the IPL that much good. “For IPL as a property, a great brand would have been the Tatas,” Bijoor said.
BCCI will now need to look for an associate sponsor; Dream 11 was the associate sponsor paying about `70-80 crore. These sponsorship fees could halve, experts said. BCCI shares nearly 50% of the title sponsorship amount with the IPL franchises.
A Duff & Phelps estimated the IPL ecosystem at `47,500 crore in 2019; this was a growth of 13.5% over 2018. As many as 462 million viewers watched the 12th edition of IPL on Star network channels last year about 12% more than in the previous season, BARC data showed.
Ed-tech firms Byju’s is understood to have bid `201 crore and Unacademy is learnt to have offered a `170 crore. It is not clear whether Tata Sons made a bid. Vivo India, had paid a whopping `2,199 crore to acquire the IPL title sponsorship rights for five years starting 2018, a staggering 454% higher than the contract with PepsiCo. Vivo had also bagged the IPL title sponsorship for 2016 and 2017 following Pepsi’s abrupt exit at a reported cost of `100 crore per year. The IPL will be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.