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OPPO buys Team India sponsorship rights for Rs 1,079 crore

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 08-03-2017

Mobile manufacturing company OPPO will replace broadcasting giants Star India as the official sponsor of the Indian cricket team from April 1, winning the bid with a mind-boggling sum of Rs 1,079 crore.

“Oppo put in a record bid of Rs 1,079 crore for five years. This is almost five times the previous bid (Star India’s). The second highest bid was from Vivo which was 768 crore,” BCCI CEO Rahul Johri said at a press conference.

“Both the bids far exceeded the minimum reserve price that was set by BCCI at Rs 538 crore. These bids are testimony to the strength of the Indian cricket. It is testimony to the belief of people in Indian cricket,” said Johri, adding that there were nine bidders in the fray.

“So in simple terms, Rs 4.17 crore per bilateral game and 1.51 crore per ICC game. To give a perspective, the previous highest was 1.71 crore per BCCI game, that has gone up to Rs 4.17 crore (per game),” he said.

“Star India’s sponsorship is till 31st March. Oppo becomes sponsors from April 1. So the first time India wears a Oppo shirt will be from the ICC Champions Trophy (scheduled in England from June 1),” said Johri.

It was clarified that the bid is for all Indian teams, including women’s and juniors. The team sponsor gets its commercial logo on both the men’s and women’s kits.

Star India had made it clear that it would not seek a renewal of its sponsorship deal, which was to end this month.

The company had cited differences with the BCCI on the commitments sought from it as the reason for its decision.

Star India took over as the Indian cricket team’s sponsor in 2013 from Sahara, which was declared ineligible by the Board.

“This morning at 12 we opened the tenders. Nine companies had bought the tender – Oppo, Vivo, Star, PayTm, Hero, GroupM, DNA, DBS Bank. Of these nine companies, Vivo and Oppo were the two bidders this morning,” Johri said.

“Lawyers from Amarchand Magaldas evaluated the legal aspect of the bids and Deloitte was the auditors. Bids of both the parties were found to be eligible,” he added.

Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators’ member Diana Edulji said there was a lot of transparency and everything was in order.

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“We are happy with the bid. This is a positive sign for all of us,” Edulji said.

Asked about FTP details, Johri said, “That is already part of the tender document. We are supposed to play 222 bilateral games and 37 ICC-tournament games during the contract period”.

Meanwhile, Sky Li , President, Oppo India, said, “Cricket in India is not just a sport. It’s also a a way of life, it’s a culture or even a religion. Hopefully, most of the youths will use a centralised brand and it will help us in associating with the Indian team.”

Asked about the current turnover in India and expectations in five years, Li said, “We have actually grown from 1.2 per cent in December 2015 to 11.7 per cent this January in terms of market share.”

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