Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has been the IPL sponsor since 2018, but today the company has stopped sponsoring the T20 tournament this year. Vivo will reportedly not end its 5-year sponsorship program with BCCI, and will sponsor the tournament in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
The news comes amid growing sentiments against China within India, and growing backlash against Vivo as a sponsor of the popular cricket tournament. This year’s Indian Premier League will take place in the UAE, with matches being played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
According to a source within the BCCI who spoke to Money Control, the reason Vivo pulled out may also have something to do with the company that wants to pay reduced amounts for the title sponsorship. Vivo was supposed to pay Rs. Rs 440 million this year as part of the deal, but the company wanted a cut of Rs. Rs 130 million citing poor sales due to anti-China sentiment in the country.
BCCI will bid for this year’s title sponsorship over the next three days and then decide on the sponsor for the tournament, the source said.
Meanwhile, a member of the IPL Governing Council spoke to PTI and said: “All I can say is that all of our sponsors are with us. I hope you can read between the lines.”
IPL 2020 will start from September 19 and will continue for 53 days, culminating in a final to be played in November 2020. The afternoon matches will start at 3:30 p.m. IST, and the afternoon games will start at 7:30 p.m. IST.