Fantasy gaming platform Dream11 won the IPL title sponsorship rights on Tuesday with a bid of 222 rupees, replacing Chinese wireless operator Vivo for a four and a half month contract.
Dream11 has been one of the IPL sponsors for several years.
“Dream11 won the rights with a bid of 222 rupees,” IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told PTI.
The multinational conglomerate Tata Group is known to have not made a final bid, while two educational technology companies – BYJUs (201 crore) and Unacademy (170 crore) – finished second and third.
Vivo and the BCCI have suspended a contract for 440 rupees per year for this season due to the border distance between India and China. The IPL begins September 19 in the United Arab Emirates and has moved out of India this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are certain questions about the Chinese firm Tencent’s investment in Dream11, but one of BCCI insiders familiar with the development said it is less than 10 percent. Dream11 is an Indian company founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth.
“Dream11’s stakeholders, including the founders and anyone over 400 employees, are Indian,” said a BCCI source.
“Your Indian investors are Kalaari Capital and Multiples Equity. Even Dream11’s product is only available to Indians. Tencent only holds a single-digit percentage of the minority stake,” added the official.
As recently as last month, the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) filed for an investigation into the company after it was reported that the platform had links to a fake T20 league held in a Punjab city, but when A game in Sri Lanka was streamed live.
The ACU investigations revealed that the kits used by the players in the tournament had the Dream11 logo and the event was broadcast live on FanCode. Both Dream11 and FanCode are part of the Dream Sports group.
Although the BCCI managed a title sponsor in a short period of time, the incoming money is less than what it received from Vivo.”… that was always the case. Those who had expected Vivo’s offer to agree were not aware of the current economic climate. The Tatas may have submitted an expression of interest, but were never interested in a tender.
“BCCI wanted Tata because their presence gives them a lot of credibility,” said an industry expert.
BCCI insiders believe that the Dream11 deal along with the official sponsorship amount from UnAcademy and the payment app Cred – the two companies that have been added to the Central Sponsorship Pool – will cover the losses significantly.”Think for four months and you will see that for such a short period of time it’s not a bad deal at all,” said another BCCI veteran.