Byju’s Retires Hurt At BCCI, Makes Way For Dream11

As the edtech company battles crisis, the cricket board signs up with fantasy sports gaming platform.

The fantasy cricket operators were the title sponsors of IPL 2020 in UAE.

Byju’s has retired hurt as the lead sponsor of Indian cricket. Dream XI is the next batter in.

The BCCI has announced that the Indian fantasy sports gaming platform, which has been a commercial partner of Indian cricket in the past, will be the team’s lead sponsor for three years.

Dream11 will be seen on India jerseys starting from the Test series against the West Indies, the team’s first assignment in the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle.

Roger Binny, BCCI President and 1983 World Cup hero, said that the partnership would enhance fan experience.

“As we prepare to host the ICC World Cup later this year, enhancing fan experience is among our top priorities and I am confident that this partnership will help us elevate the fan engagement experience,” Binny said.Exactly how they’d do it was not explained, but then that is BCCI’s communication style.

Byju’s, the previous sponsor, has been facing bouncers off the field as it battles business challenges. It has a $1.2 billion loan on its head and has cut an estimated 3000 jobs since October 2022. Under fire from investors and employees for splurging on expensive branding deals, it had no option but to curb spends on relative non-essentials

Byju’s deal with the BCCI expired in March. Two months earlier, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Byju’s CEO Byju Raveendran had said that the company did not intend to renew its associations with BCCI, ICC (International Cricket Council) and FIFA.

“We won’t renew some of the partnerships. We have multiple partnerships with BCCI, ICC, and Fifa and by taking out these branding initiatives by not renewing them, that’s where you will see a lot of improvement [in our financial position],” Raveendran said.

Byju’s first became the Indian cricket team’s lead sponsor for the period 2019-22. Last year, it renewed the deal till the end of 2023, reportedly at a cost of $55 million. But within a few months, the writing was on the shirt that they would not be able to continue.