IPL 7: Brands gun for sweet deals; sponsorships under pressure

Hefty negotiations & demands have been pitched by brands over the last three weeks to the franchises. Negotiations continue even as the tournament begins tomorrow

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: Apr 15, 2014 9:24 AM
IPL 7: Brands gun for sweet deals; sponsorships under pressure

As the first phase of IPL shifts abroad, some franchises too faced a tough task of getting title sponsors on board. Other reasons are the subdued economy a slight dent in the spirit of the game due to betting and fixing charges. Sources we spoke to mentioned that in some cases not only the cost at which a deal was sealed went down but there has been an increase in demand from the sponsors in terms of deliverables. In renewed deals over title sponsorship brands have had an upper hand this time.

As more and more deals close and the event commences tomorrow, by the time of filing the story Kings XI Punjab had not got a title sponsor yet. Delhi Daredevils announced yesterday that it got Quikr as the principal sponsor of the team. In addition to Quikr, the team has also got Just Dial on board.

Most of the franchisees had increased the jersey cost this year, which, in some cases, has not gone down well with the brands. People dealing with the sponsors and financial dealings of the tournament on daily basis admit that this is a tough year as far as sponsorship and revenue of the teams are concerned.

It is expected that Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are the only franchisees which are expected to post profits this year on paper.

The defending champion team, Mumbai Indians, which is owned by Mukesh Ambani, has got Videocon D2H , Emirates-Jet, Blackberry, and Usha International on board.

CSK has got India Cements, Gulf, UST Global and Aircel, where Aircel is the title sponsor. India Cements, headed by former BCCI Chief N Srinivasan, is the owner of the team.

RCB, owned by Vijay Mallya, announced on Sunday its association with Huawei, which is the principal sponsor of the team. The deal closed last week. Sources say that the final price negotiated and closed was far below RCB’s expectation while deliverables demanded are higher. According to sources in the industry the price paid by Huawei was below Rs 10 crore, which was apparently far less than what was pitched by RCB.

However, when contacted, Prakash Mirpuri, VP - Corporate Communications, United Breweries said, “We welcome Huawei as an RCB team partner. The partner acquisition team of RCB has secured sponsorships so far ahead of the budget and higher than in previous seasons.”

Venky Mysore, CEO, Kolkata Knight Riders, in a recent interview to a newspaper, mentioned that the franchisee would be witnessing a loss this year. The franchise, however, has Nokia as the presenting sponsor this year as well in addition to SAP. Sources say that Nokia was also approached by other franchisees this year.

While Rajasthan Royals has got Ultratech cement as the title sponsor Sunrisers Hyderabad has got WH Smith on board this year.

As per sources the jersey of Delhi Daredevils was pitched at Rs 21 crore to Quikr. However, analysts speculate that the closing cost could be between Rs 10 crore and Rs 14 crore.

Kings XI Punjab, however, has not been able to manage title sponsor as of now. Pepsi is common beverage partner to all the franchises.

The above figures have been arrived after talking to various industry sources involved in daily financial dealings of the tournament and may therefore vary.

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