Education technology company Unacademy, which is already one of IPL’s sponsors, is eyeing the league’s title sponsorship rights now and is set to submit its bid to replace Chinese mobile phone company Vivo this season. . The setback of losing Chinese mobile giants – VIVO as the title sponsors of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has somewhat been counterbalanced by the addition of two official partners — Unacademy and Cred.Also Read - T20 World Cup 2021: Eoin Morgan Willing to Drop Himself From England T20 Squad, Says Will Not Come in Way of Team Winning Title
A BCCI official confirmed that Unacademy has picked up the bid papers but refrained from making any comments beyond that. “I can confirm that Unacademy has shown interest and picked the bid papers. I have heard they will be submitting a bid and are pretty serious. So Patanjali if they bid, will have competition,” the senior official told PTI on conditions of anonymity. Also Read - MS Dhoni Not Clear on his Availability for IPL 2022 But N Srinivasan is Clear on his Plans For MSD
Vivo, which annually paid Rs 440 crore, dropped out as title sponsor this year due to the India-China border stand-off. Also Read - KL Rahul Wants 'Mentor' MS Dhoni to Play For Few More Years, Says Former Captain's Presence Brings Calmness in Team India Dressing Room
The BCCI is now looking at a lesser value — between Rs 300 to 350 crore — for a period of four months and 13 days.
The official said Unacademy is a part of IPL’s central sponsorship pool with other companies like Dream11 and Paytm. “Yes, Unacademy is already in IPL’s central sponsors’ pool from 2020 to 2023,” the BCCI official said.
Asked what’s the difference between central sponsorship and title sponsorship, the official explained, “The central sponsorship doesn’t include jersey rights.”
“In IPL, jersey logo can only be of title sponsor and apart from that various team’s sponsors. If they become title sponsors, it will give them rights on various branding properties,” he said.
Asked about the specifics, he said: “The prominent space in the backdrop board in the post-presentation area, the backdrop in dugout, and boundary rope. A lot of these branding opportunities apart from digital and media opportunities are part of the partnership,” the senior official said.
While no one from Unacademy was prepared to speak on the issue, an industry insider, who is privy to the Edu-tech company’s preparations to file a bid, said the firm is ready take the big plunge.
“Unlike some of the other Edu-Tech apps, Unacademy has 100 per cent Indian investment. And four and half months is the perfect time to get associated with a brand like IPL and broaden their horizons in terms of brand outreach,” the source close to the development said.
According to well-placed sources, Unacademy has been roped in for a four-year period (2020-2023). The exact valuation of the deal with Unacademy could not be ascertained but industry experts say it could be anything upwards 60 crores per season.
BCCI is desperately seeking a title sponsor for IPL after Vivo quit in the wake of the anti-China wave after the Galwan standoff in Ladakh between Indian and Chinese armies.