The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday officially announced fantasy cricket platform Dream 11 as the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in September-October. (More Cricket News)
The company replaced Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Vivo, which had to pull out for this season because of the India-China border stand-off.
Earlier in the day, it was widely reported that the Indian cricket board was not happy with the successful bid that Dream 11 made.
Sources said BCCI and Dream11 were still negotiating on the conditional three-year bid under which the company is supposed to pay Rs 240 crore each in 2021 and 2022 if Vivo doesn't make a comeback with its yearly Rs 440 crore deal.
"The IPL Governing Council has announced Dream11 as the new Title Sponsor of the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League. Dream11 (Sporta Technologies Pvt. Ltd) is an Indian company based in Mumbai, Maharashtra," a BCCI statement read.
As mentioned in the statement, Dream11 will be IPL's title sponsor for only one season, meaning Vivo may well return for the following season(s) to complete their deal with the BCCI.
"Dream11’s association with sports has grown over the years and it is presently partnering a total of 19 sports leagues along with 6 Indian Premier League Franchises," the statement added.
On Tuesday, Dream11 got the better of education-technology platforms Byju's and Unacademy in a three-way contest for the right to have its name sell with probably the most popular cricket league in the world. Surprisingly, the Tata Group did not come to the table.
Welcoming Dream11 on board, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel said: "Dream11 upgrading their association from an Official Partner to Title Sponsors is a great testament to the brand IPL. Dream11 as a fantasy sports brand will only grow the engagement of the IPL with its fans. As a digital brand it will give them leverage to create exciting online engagement for fans sitting at home and watching the matches. We look forward to delivering great value to Dream11."
Dream11 has been one of the IPL sponsors for a couple of years now and is already a big spender on cricket. They are associated with at least six IPL teams and also with the International Cricket Council.
Reacting to the new deal, Dream11 CEO Harsh Jain, said: “The launch of IPL in 2008 gave birth to the idea of Dream11. As avid sports fans, we wanted to offer fantasy cricket to IPL fans to help them further engage with the sport they love and showcase their sports knowledge & skill."
Dream11 is an Indian company founded by Jain and Bhavit Sheth. But questions were raised about Chinese company Tencent's investment in Dream11, but one of the BCCI insiders privy to the development said that it is less than 10 per cent.
Jain also endorsed that "being a proud homegrown Indian brand that is made in India, by Indians and exclusively for Indian sports fans"... ‘Dream11 IPL’ "perfectly defines what IPL is all about."
Meanwhile, Traders' body CAIT wrote to the BCCI raising objections over the IPL's title sponsor reportedly having stakeholders from China.
"We are deeply pained to note that now Dream 11 has been chosen as sponsor of IPL 2020 which has Chinese company Tencent Global as one of the major stakeholders.
"We are of the considered opinion that awarding sponsorship to Dream 11 is nothing but a bye pass route to neglect the sentiments and feelings prevailing among the people of India against China for its regular attempts to invade the interests of India," said CAIT, which is spearheading the campaign to boycott Chinese goods.
Vivo and the BCCI suspended a Rs 440 crore-per-year deal for this season.
The IPL, moved out of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year, starts on September 19 in the UAE.
BCCI Awards Dream11 Title Sponsorship Rights For IPL 2020, Tata Group Stays Away