IPL: Sponsorship And Covid Impact

IPL: Sponsorship And Covid Impact

Amidst the BCCI and Vivo announcing the suspension of the title sponsorship deal, the IPL is poised for a different look amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Crux of the Matter

Deal Suspension
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Vivo mobiles recently suspended their partnership for the IPL 2020 title sponsor, with the termination of the partnership coming amidst the rise of anti-China sentiment in India following the recent border clashes with China, where 20 Indian soldiers martyred.

The suspension of the deal came after a change from its stance by the BCCI, which had declared on the meeting of August 2 that it would be retaining Vivo as the title sponsor. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) lodged a protest against BCCI for the retention, and the decision was changed after which the IPL would have a new title sponsor for its 13th edition.

Vivo had acquired the title sponsorship rights from 2018 to 2022 for reportedly ₹2,190 crores or ₹440 crores per season. However, Vivo claimed in its statement that its partnership is on “pause” for the 2020 season.

Changed Schedule
IPL 2020 would be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Originally planned to be held from 29 March 2020, the expected duration of the postponed season is from September 19 to November 10, with the delay coming due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The IPL would be held outside India for the 3rd time this year, with the 2009 and 2014 IPL being held in South Africa and the UAE respectively due to the Lok Sabha elections in India both the times.

History Of IPL

  • 2007: Twenty20 cricket became popular in India after the Indian team won the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup.
  • 2008: The IPL was launched after initializing by Lalit Modi, then BCCI Vice-President. The league was based on a Franchise system based on auctions, and had 8 teams in the first season. The auction for selecting the owners alone brought $723 million to the system.
    The first season was won by Rajasthan Royals.
  • 2010: YouTube agreed to telecast IPL Live in all countries except the US, making IPL the first sporting event to be broadcasted live on YouTube. In the same year, Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala were added to the league before 2011 season.
  • 2011: The Kochi franchise was removed after a breach of terms of the agreement.
  • 2012: The Deccan Chargers franchise of Hyderabad was terminated for “various defaults”. Sun TV network won the franchise for Hyderabad and renamed the team as Sunrisers Hyderabad.
  • 2013: Sahara Pune Warriors franchise was terminated over failure in providing the requisite bank guarantee, and the IPL was back to its 8-team format.

Major Controversies

  • 2010: Lalit Modi accused the then Minister of External Affairs Shashi Tharoor of “misusing his position” for the Kochi franchise, after which Tharoor resigned from his post.
  • After the 2010 season ended, Lalit Modi was suspended from the BCCI, being accused of misconduct, misuse of power, money laundering and rigging to favour the Adani Group and Videocon. Modi left the country for England, claiming that his life was under threat in India by the Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
  • 2013: Modi was banned for life by the BCCI after it found him guilty of the charges, who is currently wanted in India but has not returned since.
  • 2013: Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan were banned after a spot-fixing scandal and were imprisoned. While the ban on Sreesanth was lifted 2020 onwards, Chandila and Chavan remain banned for life from cricket.
  • 2015: Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended for 2 years over role in illegal betting and match-fixing. Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions replaced the two suspended teams for 2 years.

  • Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the UFC announced that Yas Island (Abu Dhabi) would host UFC 251 and several UFC Fight Night cards on Yas Island, in a quarantined environment dubbed “Fight Island”. The venue is designed primarily to facilitate fights involving international fighters affected by U.S. travel restrictions implemented due to the pandemic.
  • Cricket Fever is a 2019 Indian sports documentary web series which follows the journey of Mumbai Indians in its 2018 season of the IPL. The series premiered worldwide on Netflix and is the first Indian sports documentary on Netflix.
  • In 1993, Lalit Modi established Modi Entertainment Networks (MEN), using money from a family trust. MEN started as a 10-year joint venture with Walt Disney Pictures, to broadcast some of Disney’s content in India, including Fashion TV. In 1994, MEN became the pan-India distributor of ESPN on a ten-year contract worth $975 million.