In June last year, when Rahul Johri joined Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) the richest cricket board in the world as its first chief executive, it was a totally different world for the career media executive. He had moved from the world's largest factual entertainment company, Discovery Networks, where he was in the driver seat of its India business for many years but then BCCI was a different beast altogether.
Are there enough takers for the sponsorship of Indian team?
Sponsorship of the Indian cricket team is arguably the most attractive commercial opportunity available to companies and brands anywhere in world sport today. India plays the most matches in a year of any nation and therefore the opportunity to sponsor the team offers a brand the maximum exposure across cricket that it can get. The team has a packed calendar of games scheduled all the way up to 2022. As laid out in the Future Tours Programme, Team India will play 259 international matches between June 2017 and March 2022 comprising 62 tests, 152 ODIs and 45 T20 internationals. This includes key world events like the Cricket World Cup in England in 2019 and the World T20 in Australia in 2020. With India playing 14 series at home and more than 20 abroad, sponsorship of the team offers a brand a clear balance of exposure domestically and overseas.
Is there any uncertainty regarding future tours and schedules?
We have already mapped out a detailed schedule of tours starting with the ICC Champions Trophy in England in June 2017 all the way up India's tour to South Africa in March 2022. A detailed schedule with timelines is attached to the tender document and is available to all interested parties.
So what kind of traction are you seeing among the sponsors and how many companies have picked up the tender?
The tender has attracted a tremendous amount of interest from companies and brands operating across a diverse range of industries. With Indian team topping all three formats in this cricket season, the opportunity is all the more lucrative.
Can you share the names of companies who have picked up tender documents?
The rights have drawn strong interest from several brands and companies operating across a diverse range of industries such as BFSI, autos, e-commerce, mobile and telecoms, media and entertainment, FMCG, etc.The deadline for submission of bids is at noon on March 7th.
As the base price is at Rs 2.2 crore... what is your expectation, how much will the sponsorship rights fetch?
We have seen a steady appreciation in the sponsorship rights over the years. But as the cost of the rights has increased so too has the value brands have been able to leverage from it.Team India's front-of-shirt sponsorship delivers more value than that offered by other cricketing nations, including Australia, England and South Africa.
India has topped all formats this cricket season while the ICC's world rankings feature more Indians than ever before. India has the best players like Virat Kohli, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. We expect brands to pull out all the stops to partner Indian cricket and work with the BCCI.
Star India, current partner of the BCCI and ICC rights, has said publicly stated its reservations. Do broadcast partners sponsors have anything to worry about?
Cricket has always been among the most sought-after sports commercially for broadcasters and sponsors, be it a BCCI-owned property like the IPL or ICC events like the World Cup.We have always delivered immense value to our partners, sponsors and broadcasters.
Will the postponement of the IPL media rights auction affect the league in anyway?
With the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators now in place, preparations for the IPL are well underway. The Committee is comprised of eminent personalities who have now taken charge of the process. They have given us the go-ahead to proceed with tenders. We have floated multiple RFPs for services for the 2017 edition of the IPL and announced the tender for the India team sponsorship rights.Moreover, 18 companies have already picked up the media rights tender with many more continuing to express an interest. We'll be announcing the tender for the media rights shortly.As you can see, the BCCI machinery is working as swiftly and efficiently as ever.
Courtesy: Economic Times