It couldn’t have been a better time for Sahara India to renew its sponsorship of the Indian cricket team, what with India’s scintillating performance in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka and high expectations from the game. The contract, previously with Air Sahara, has been clinched for the corporate identity Sahara India Pariwar this year. Reportedly, the deal struck with the Cricket Board is worth Rs 313.8 crore.
Percept IMC, acting on behalf of Sahara India, played a crucial role in securing the deal. Abhijeet Sarkar from Sahara’s Corporate Communication division and Percept D’ Mark’s Nitin Berry were actively involved in the bidding process.
The other players in the fray for sponsoring were Idea, Reliance Infocomm, AirTel, IndianOil and Hero Honda. Stating this, Shailendra Singh, Joint MD, Percept IMC, said, “Percept has been managing this contract for almost the past four years and we are completely ecstatic. And the fact that we have won by a close margin adds to it all.”
He further said that the last bid was Idea’s, which was at over Rs 279 crore. The previous sponsorship deal with the BCCI was struck for Rs 235.7 crore.
It may be recalled that the Sahara Group had withdrawn its sponsorship following the International Cricket Council’s objections over the use of its logo during the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka. The objection was raised due to conflict of interest with South African Airlines, one of the main sponsors of the series then. A company statement from the group said that on request from the BCCI, Sahara India reconsidered its decision on the sponsorship.
The issue has been resolved in the new deal. “Sahara has the right to sub-lease the sponsorship to someone else, if conflicts from other sponsors arise in the future. However, this is strictly subject to BCCI approval,” divulged Singh.