Unbowed, IPL set to wow audiences in 2020, from the UAE

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Unbowed, IPL set to wow audiences in 2020, from the UAE

After a lot of uncertainty, T20 cricket’s extravagant showing, the franchise-based Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in September this year on account of the pandemic. While the event first had to deal with the threat of outright cancellation, its re-scheduling has offered promise to the franchise owners despite the accompanying forfeits, primarily the lack of fans attending the matches at the stadium.

There are also other concerns for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that runs the eight-team event.

Setbacks notwithstanding, IPL promises 2020 show

This year, the eruption of the border conflict between India and China meant that the IPL’s principal sponsor, a Chinese mobile phone company Vivo – a subsidiary of BBK Electronics that owns other smartphone companies such as Oppo, OnePlus, and Realme – decided to pull out as the sponsor.

Financially, the sponsor’s withdrawal set the BCCI back by around $59 million even though it received a new sponsorship deal from Dream 11 – a fantasy sports company that is backed by Chinese conglomerate Tencent Holdings – for about half the price, or about $30 million.

According to market analysts, this reduced sponsorship deal has also affected the BCCI’s coffers significantly. However, at the same time, BCCI office bearers are preferring to take the positives. The first and foremost being that instead of outright facing a revenue loss of about $547 million had the 13th edition of the IPL been cancelled; they will now be able to recoup certain revenue thanks to the rejigged schedule.

Nonetheless, under the broader bracket of the BCCI, some of the eight teams, too, have had their share of sponsorship problems because of the alteration to the event’s usual time-line. The title apparel sponsor of the Delhi Capitals team was the Japanese AC company, Daikin.

Since the event is usually held in the summer – in the months of April and May – the company’s ads, too, were routed through the IPL. However, since IPL 13 will be held between September-October, the monsoon months, the company decided its business interests would not be better served.

And, as a result, withdrew as the team’s apparel sponsor. Despite these hiccups though, as with the BCCI, the IPL teams have also managed to brace themselves. And overall, the mood has turned optimistic, with cricket as always coming to be the panacea.