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Dream11 wins IPL title sponsor rights for ₹222 crore

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on August 19, 2020

A gaming app winning the bid indicates the rise of the digital economy

Fantasy gaming platform Dream11 has bagged the title sponsorship rights for the Indian Premier League 2020 for ₹222 crore. Dream11 has won the rights at less than nearly 50 per cent of what Vivo would have paid for its title sponsorship rights.

IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed to BusinessLine that Dream11 has won the title sponsorship rights for the IPL. He also said that Byju’s had submitted a bid of ₹201 crore and Unacademy for ₹171 crore. Tata Sons did not place a final bid, though it had submitted an EoI, he added. Asked about Patanjali Ayurved, Patel said it was never in the race and had not even submitted an EoI.

Dream11 has been IPL’s associate sponsor for the last two years.

Vivo pullout

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was forced to look for new sponsors after Vivo pulled out amid the anti-China sentiments post the India-China border dispute. Vivo had won the IPL title sponsorship rights for five years from 2018 to 2022 for ₹2,190 crore, which works out to about ₹440 crore per annum.

Lloyd Mathias, Business Strategist, who was closely involved with cricket sponsorship as the former Executive Vice-President of PepsiCo India, told BusinessLine that a lower bid is on expected lines, given that the new sponsor will have limited time to leverage the sponsorship, with the IPL commencing on September 19 and the BCCI’s terms letting them leverage this only until December 31, 2020.

“I think having a gaming app like Dream 11 as the title sponsor of the IPL is yet another indication of how the new digital economy is gaining ground. The other bidders, on-line edtech platforms Byju’s and Unacademy are digital first companies, and the Indian cricket team already has Byju’s as the team sponsor.

“Dream11 bagging the title rights to the IPL further emphasises the scale and appetite of new-age companies in the digital economy,” Mathias said.

“I see the Tata's keeping out of the bidding as a lost opportunity, for a large conglomerate which could have effectively leveraged it across its wide portfolio of brands,”  added Mathias.

Founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream Sports counts Kalaari Capital, Think Investments, Multiples Equity, Tencent and Steadview Capital as its marquee investors. Chinese investor Tencent owns minority shares in the company.

Published on August 18, 2020

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