It’s business as usual at BCCI
It is business as usual at the BCCI with the newly installed Committee of Administrators (COA) taking quick decisions. Since the pitched battle between the Lodha Panel and the BCCI office bearers had tripped the entire process of contracts since last October, the obstacles have been removed with the office bearers having been sacked by the apex court. The BCCI, already running behind schedule given that the Vivo IPL is beginning from April 5, has now put out six important service contracts — opening and closing ceremonies, in stadia LED boards, media agency, rights and obligations to stage Fan Parks and the Fantasy League.
The request for proposals (RFP) released on Thursday have different timelines attached to them — for instance Fan Parks comes with a February 24, 11.00 am deadline while LED services has a February 22 deadline. Given that the COA is greenlighting all the stuck contracts, the board will soon be putting out the IPL broadcast and digital rights for tender once the team jersey deal is struck.
In parallel, BCCI’s new set up has also put up the Team India sponsorship for grabs, which comes with a five-year contract. Top BCCI sources told Financial Chronicle that they are expecting very aggressive bidding in this regard, which should top Rs 600 crore. The way it works is that top media buying agencies like GroupM, Mediacom, Havas, Lodestar and DDB first enter the equation and purchase the ITT (invitation to tender) so that the identities of the real players are not revealed. Star, which is the current rights holder, of course has already picked up the ITT and is reportedly planning a big bid. But sources close to developments said that it is the new age telecom, e-commerce, digital and mobile players who are going to be the real aggressors.
One has learnt that Reliance Jio, Amazon, Flipkart along with Chinese and other phone makers are going to be front runn­ers. Chinese phone ma­ker Vivo is already the IPL ti­tle sponsor while another Chinese firm Oppo (BBK Electronics) had become the T20 Champions Leag­ue (now defunct) sponsor, but remains an ICC eve­n­ts sponsor for 4 years.
Similarly, Nissan Mot­or signed an 8-year, $10 million-a-year global partn­ership deal with ICC, wh­i­ch was its first significant venture into cricket in 2015. Samsung and Ap­ple may also be in the mix.
In the coming 5 years, India is expected to play 259 matches all told – 238 bilateral and 21 in ICC tourneys. Last date to se­ek clarification is February 24 and the last date to buy the tender is March 1. The tenders are to be submitted by 12 noon, March 7, at Cricket Centre, BCCI headquarters.
Thus things are moving at supersonic speed with COA opening the flo­o­dgates. BCCI has set Rs 2.2 crore as the base price for the bilateral games for the team jersey while for ICC tournaments – 2017 Champions Trophy, 2019 World Cup, 2020 World T20 and 2021 Champions Trophy – the base price is Rs 70 lakh. At the base price level, the board ma­k­es a tidy Rs 538.3 crore.
Against this Star is paying Rs 1.92 crore per bilateral and Rs 61 lakh per ICC tournament match. The base price last time round had been Rs 1.5 crore for bilaterals, which Star did easily. Known as the official team sponsor, it’s one of the most prestigious and lucrative contracts for the cricket boa­rd. In the past, Wills/ ITC, Sahara India and now St­ar India have been the off­i­cial team jersey sp­o­n­sors.
With Indian cricket re­a­ching new highs and the young team on an ascendant, the jersey will be coveted by many.