IPL 2022: Tata edges out Dream11 for title sponsorship; Ahmedabad franchise gets LoI after gambling clearance

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The Tata Group, one of India’s reputed business houses has replaced the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo as the title sponsor for the cash-rich Indian Premier League.

The salt to software conglomerate will be the IPL title sponsors for the next two seasons (2022 and 2023). This is the second time in less than two years that Vivo dropped off from the sponsorship rights. The decision was announced by IPL Chairman Brajesh Patel after the governing council meet.

Vivo paid a whopping INR 2,200 crore for title sponsorship rights from 2018-2022 but after the 2020 India-China border tensions, the smartphone maker took a break for a year with fantasy gaming leader Dream11 replacing it in the 13th edition (2020).

This was supposed to happen sooner or later as Vivo’s presence was bringing bad publicity for both the league as well as the company. With negative sentiment around Chinese products, the company had to pull out of the sponsorship with one season left for the deal to be completed,” said a BCCI source was quoted by the Business Insider.

As per reports, Dream11 was also interested to replace Vivo but the cricketing body choose Tata. “Yes, Tata Group is coming in as IPL title sponsor,” IPL chairman Brijesh Patel has been quoted as saying. Dream11 recently raised US$ 840 million at an US$ 8 billion valuation.

The governing council has also finally provided the much-delayed letters of intent to the two new IPL teams – based in Lucknow (RPSG Group) and in Ahmedabad (CVC Capital)- which now have the franchise rights.

CVC gets all-clear after gambling scrutiny

On October 25, CVC Capital, a major global private equity fund, bid nearly INR 5,000 crores to bag the rights to own the Ahmedabad franchise. CVC came second, second to RP Sanjeev Goenka Group, which bid nearly INR 7,000 crores to bag the rights for the Lucknow franchise. The Ahmedabad franchise has recently appointed Ashish Nehra as the head coach along with Vikram Solanki as director of cricket and former India coach Gary Kirsten as team mentor.

Both the new teams were originally asked by the IPL to buy a maximum of three players by December 25 from the available pool. However, the entire process was delayed after the BCCI decided not to provide the letter of intent to CVC due to its alleged investments in overseas gambling companies.

With gambling being illegal in India, the BCCI appointed a group of legal experts to provide a legal opinion. Earlier, we reported that BCCI has given the nod after the legal scrutiny established that the IPL investment comes from CVC’s Asian fund which has no links with gambling investments. The gambling investments are from CVC’s Europe funds. Both the new franchises now have about ten days to finalise the list of players they wish to contract with outside of the auction. The auction is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on February 12 and 13. Last week, Ganguly backed My11Circle bagged the title sponsorship of the Lucknow team.