On the day the Board of Control for Cricket in India had formally confirmed the suspension of the Indian Premier League title sponsorship with Vivo, it is reported that the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer has also ended its partnership with the Pro Kabaddi League.
Vivo’s ₹ 300 crores, five-year deal with Mashal Sports, the PKL commercial partners, was to run till 2021. Business daily Economic Times has reported that the brand has opted out of the contract worth ₹ 60 crores per annum.
“Vivo has decided to lie low amid all the negative publicity the brand was generating since the India–China clash on the border. The company has decided to pull out of all the major deals, at least for this year, and will focus on selling products via more retail discount and commissions,” ET has quoted a source as saying.
Star India owns a majority stake in the Mashal Sports.
According to the report, there can be a further shocker for Star as it is feared that Vivo might also end its “presenting partner” contract for the IPL broadcast.
In a major switch in its marketing strategy amidst growing anti-China sentiment, Vivo is also reported to be ending its sponsorship contract with reality show Big Boss.
“Vivo has realised that by not advertising, but offering better discounts, it will sell more phones rather than by advertising, which will attract public ire,” another person close to the development has told the daily.
Vivo had made headlines in for its ₹ 2,190 crore IPL title sponsorship deal, committing ₹ 440 crores per annum to retain the rights on a jaw-dropping 300% premium. The brand’s annual marketing spend runs up to ₹ 1,000 crores.