DLF exits IPL lead sponsorship as BCCI ups rate

29 Aug,2012

By A Correspondent


After being associated with the Indian Premier League (IP) for five years, real estate major DLF has decided to stop being the league’s lead presenting sponsor. DLF, which had bagged exclusive rights to the IPL in 2008 for over Rs 200 core, feels it is not commercially viable anymore to be associated with the T20 cricket tournament.


“We have decided not to be the title sponsor for the IPL,” says Rajeev Talwar, group executive director, DLF Ltd. He said the IPL provided a nationwide platform to DLF for brand building for the past five years.


“But, every decision has to make business sense,” he adds. DLF’s decision to vacate the seat of the title sponsor could open a window of opportunity for several brands and companies.


According to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), a host of sponsors are interested in grabbing the opportunity. “There are a lot of people who are waiting for an opportunity. We will initiate the process in a month,” Ratnakar Shetty, chief administrative officer, BCCI said without commenting on DLF’s position.


According to a person aware of the matter, the cricket association is looking for a significant increase in sponsorship revenues and has even hiked the amount required to be invested by those who wish to stay associated with the IPL.


“The BCCI is looking at almost three to four times the price of the original sponsorship deals signed in 2008. For the title presenter, they are eyeing anywhere between Rs 750 crore and Rs 800 crore,” said the person close to the development.


Meanwhile, the Board has started negotiations with co-sponsors like Vodafone, Karbonn Mobiles and Hero MotoCorp. “It is too early to comment on the matter,” said a Vodafone spokesman. Hero MotoCorp’s long association with cricket – it has sponsored the World Cup and the Champions Trophy in the past – makes it a candidate for the IPL’s title sponsorship, reckons a media planner. The company, however, refused to comment on the matter.


Without commenting on the future of Karbonn Mobiles and the IPL, Shashin Devsare, executive director, Karbonn Mobiles said: “Negotiations are going on and we have not taken a call on it yet.” Earlier this month, the mobile phone maker had announced a partnership with ESPN Star Sports to become the title sponsor of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) tournament, which will be held in South Africa later this year.


Source:The Economic Times

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