The confrontation between the International Cricket Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India has effectively queered the pitch for several corporates which have put in crores of rupees on advertising and sponsorships.
Hero Honda has sponsored the title of the England-India Test series which kicks off next Monday, with plans to unleash a massive promotional campaign featuring Indian cricket captain Saurav Ganguly and Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan during the series. But if it falls through, Hero Honda will have to re-draw its campaign strategy.
Several other sponsors—from paan masala makers to car manufacturers and insurance companies to airline firms—dish out many more crores.
Huge sums of money are also involved in buying television time. Big advertisers such as Pepsi or Coca-Cola spend around Rs 50 lakh for buying television time. The companies are not the only losers—the cricketing boards also stand to lose large sums of money.
According to the industry sources, when India did not play the Asia Cup in Pakistan last year, the Pakistan Cricket Association (PCA) claimed it lost close to $15 million in revenue.
Likewise, cricket officials say, if in the most unlikely situation, England pulls out of the India series, the BCCI will lose as much as $5-6 million. And if India does not go to England during the summer of 2002 in retaliation, the English & Wales Cricket Board will lose not less than $18 million.
Things could get worse. One of the four global sponsors of the next two cricket World Cups today said it may pull out of the ICC tournaments if India is banned from the ICC, and if at least 7-8 countries including India and Pakistan are not playing for the Cup.
Each of the global sponsors for the nine ICC tournaments, including the two World Cups, is dishing out approximately $30 million each. Two Indian firms—LG Electronics India Ltd and Pepsico India—are among the global sponsors.
The only organisation which seems to be smug at the moment is state-owned Doordarshan which has the exclusive telecast rights for the India-England series.