The Aditya Birla Group (ABG) is contending with Tata Sons for the Indian Premier League (IPL) title sponsorship rights. The last date to submit bids for the coveted marketing property was January 12.
While ABG was the sole bidder, incumbent Tata Sons has the right to match any winning submission, according to the deal between BCCI and Tata Sons. People familiar with the matter said ABG made an offer marginally higher than the base price.
Tata has until January 19 to match the ABG bid, according to a person with knowledge of the development.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released the tender for title sponsorship rights for the IPL seasons 2024-2028 on December 12. The base price is ₹1,750 crore over five years, or ₹350 crore per year, for 74 matches.
BCCI had also recommended bidders apply for 84 and 94 matches at base prices of ₹375 crore and ₹400 crore, respectively. "If the BCCI increases the number of games from 74 to 84 and 94, the IPL title rights holder will have to pay sponsorship fee on the basis of their bid amount for 84 and 94 games," said a top executive with a leading sports marketing agency.
BCCI, Tata Sons and ABG declined to comment.
Tata Sons had agreed to pay ₹335 crore per year, or Rs 670 crore, for a two-year IPL title sponsorship deal with BCCI in 2022 after Vivo chose to abandon it amid the backlash against Chinese brands over border tensions.
Sports marketing experts had predicted that the IPL title rights wouldn't be aggressively pursued due to the right-to-match clause benefiting Tata Sons, and the high ticket size of the deal.
IPL title sponsorship rights are an excellent asset for a brand," said brand marketing expert Harish Bijoor. "However, none of the title sponsors till now have done justice to the rights. To maximise the value, the title rights owner will have to commit time, energy and investment to become synonymous with the brand IPL. The five-year duration is a good enough time to establish a long-term connection with the IPL."
IPL, India's most popular annual sporting event, offers significant exposure for title sponsors. IPL 2023 attracted over 500 million viewers on TV and nearly 450 million viewers on digital platforms.
DLF, Pepsi, Vivo and Dream11 have previously held the rights, the annual value of which rose from ₹40 crore paid by DLF for 2008-12 to ₹440 crore per year offered by Vivo for 2018-19.