IPL 2021 Title Sponsorship: VIVO is Back
Last year, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been one of the affected sports leagues by the pandemic. The IPL would usually start between March to April and instead, last year’s season started in September and many changes have been made like UAE being the venue and the title sponsorship.
Before last year’s season began, it was announced that VIVO’s partnership with the BCCI to sponsor the season was suspended. Because of this, the IPL has to find a new title sponsor and it was Dream11 who got the sponsorship.
Since last season ended, many have already wondered whether Dream11 will still be the next title sponsor or if there will be new brands involved. It took a while before the BCCI was able to decide on this and during this year’s auction in February, the BCCI was happy to announce that VIVO will once again sponsor the upcoming season and that IPL 2021 is no more because the league is coming back to India.
VIVO’s IPL Partnership
Last year’s sponsorship was mainly affected b the nationwide backlash post-Indo-China border standoff. Now that things have pretty much settled down, it’s just right to continue VIVO’s sponsorship. After all, VIVO did sign a five-year contract to be the IPL title sponsor.
VIVO’s brand strategy head, Nipun Marya, recently spoke to CNBC about how they are looking forward to continuing the partnership with IPL. He also explained how the IPL is one of the biggest properties in India.
“Last year the situation was quite different than what it is right now. It has been a mutual decision between the BCCI and VIVO to pause the partnership for IPL for 2020. That was a decision made mutually. As for 2021, IPL begins. VIVO is back as the title sponsor of IPL.
The IPL is a flagship property not just for marketing or brand managers but I think even for consumers. Every year, they look forward to these 40 to 50 days of high-quality cricket and entertainment. The IPL is a very important property. That’s the reason we have been associated with IPL for some years now. We’re looking forward to this year as well.”
He was also asked how the border stand-off affected VIVO. He explained, “If sales of last year are concerned, for market shares point of view, VIVO was among the leaders in both volume and value for the whole of 2020. It is so much so that in 3 out 4 quarters of 2020, VIVO was the number one brand in both volume and value. There is a lot of trust and a lot of confidence, and a lot of love that the consumers have for the brand VIVO.
“2020 was quite action-packed and similarly 2021 also with the IPL and the new launches which are forthcoming. We are looking forward to an exciting 2021 as well.”
No other issues would likely stop the partnership between VIVO and the BCCI to finish the five-year contract. Still, many consumers are probably concerned about the border issue. However, based on what Marya said, there shouldn’t be any issue with the brand itself.
“VIVO is among the first smartphone brands to set up its manufacturing line here in India and this I’m talking about nearly 4-5 years back. Today, as we speak, VIVO is generating employment for 50,000 people in the country. Whichever phone we are selling in India is being made in India.
“As far as Vivo is concerned, we believe we are doing excellent stuff on the ground because the consumers showed us the love and because it is translated in numbers. “The whole environment has certainly now changed for the better and overall, the environment is better. I think it’s befitting that Vivo is back as the IPL title sponsor. Our old contract is as it is and we continue with all the terms and conditions we earlier had on the contract.”
He also talked about what’s in store for the brand this year. He said, “There are going to be multiple investments that we will do. Starting from new product launches, we are also going to open up nearly 150 stores, additionally.”
The IPL is scheduled to be back on April 9 and the opening will be held in Chennai. The first match is between 2020 champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. For now, audiences will still not be allowed. Still, many fans are surely looking forward to seeing their favourite cricket clubs back in action and also VIVO as the title sponsor of the season.