The IPL Governing Council has announced fantasy cricket platform Dream11 as the new title sponsor of the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League with a winning bid of Rs 222 crore. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was in hunt for a new title sponsor for the tournament after its original title sponsor, Vivo, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, suspended the contract for this year. The move came following a public backlash against Chinese companies amid the India-China LAC standoff.
The IPL Governing Council, however, did not specify any details of how much money Dream11 had paid to secure the rights. Sources revealed that Dream11’s bid of Rs 222 crore was the highest and beat two rival bids — from Byju’s (Rs 201 crore) and Unacademy (Rs 179 crore).
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel said, “We welcome Dream11 on board as the title sponsor for the 2020 edition of the IPL. 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.” Interestingly, there are certain questions about Chinese companies being one of the investors of Dream 11. According to reports, Dream11 has Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd as one of its investors. BCCI, in a press release, stressed on the fact that Dream11 is an Indian company based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
On the other hand, traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has written to the BCCI raising objections over the IPL’s title sponsor reportedly having stakeholders from China. In a letter to BCCI president Saurav Ganguly, the CAIT said, “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 bypass 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.”
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, Harsh Jain, CEO & co-founder, Dream Sports (Dream11), said, “Being a proud home-grown Indian brand that is made in India, by Indians and exclusively for Indian sports fans, we would like to thank the BCCI for giving us an opportunity to become the Title Sponsor of IPL, which in our opinion is the world’s greatest sports property.”