The Indian Premier League Governing Council will be deliberating on the crucial issue of the Indian Premier League title sponsorship via teleconferencing on Wednesday.
The GC, headed by chairman and former India batsman Brajesh Patel, will primarily evaluate the IPL title sponsorship contract with Vivo.
In wake of the standoff with China in the Galwan Valley, where 20 Indian jawans were martyred in the scuffle with intruding Chinese soldiers, pressure has been mounting on the Board of Control for Cricket in India to dump the IPL title sponsor Vivo.
The matter has thus been referred to the IPL GC despite BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal initially saying that the deal was in the interest of Indian economy.
The Chinese smartphone brand has a five-year IPL title sponsorship agreement worth ₹ 2,199 crore with the BCCI. While the deal runs till 2022, the GC will discuss the scenario and consequences of retaining or ending the contract in wake of the anti-China sentiment and boycott China calls following the nefarious designs on the Dragon to occupy the Indian territory.
However, a no final verdict is expected in the meeting on Wednesday. SportzFront has learnt that the GC will evaluate consequences, primarily legal, if the board has to take an extreme step. The BCCI counsels thus will have to revisit the “exit clause” in the Vivo contract.
Calling of the deal worth ₹ 440 crore per annum will also have severe financial repercussions. The board in the extreme event of termination of the contract will have be ready for a major setback in the title sponsorship values.
The BCCI is aiming to stage the IPL 2020 between September and November as the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia appears all set to be deferred in wake of the novel coronavirus.
The virus threat also looms large on sports sponsorships due to an extremely weak market scenario, which may result in big deficit for the board if it were to go for a new title sponsor. Considering the value for money and reach IPL brings to sponsors, there will be more than one brands eager to grab the opportunity. But ₹ 440 crore for a season will be a big ask under the present scenario.
Meanwhile, de-escalation in the tension on the LAC after China has reportedly agreed to withdraw its troops following the Lt-General level talks may also lead to ease in anti-China sentiment in the country. That will also diminish some pressure on the board to get rid of the IPL title sponsor.