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Byju’s takes over as Team India’s official sponsor as Oppo ends deal mid-term

In March 2017, Oppo replaced Star India as official sponsor by paying Rs 1,079 crore, almost double of BCCI’s reserve price of Rs 538 crore. The board will not lose any money as Byju’s will pay the same amount what Oppo was paying

Education and learning app Byju’s has replaced mobile brand Oppo as the official Team India sponsor from September 5, 2019 to March 31, 2022. Oppo and BCCI’s five-year deal was supposed to end in 2022.

In March 2017, Oppo replaced Star with a winning bid of whopping Rs 1,079 crore, which was almost double the reserve price of Rs 538 crore set by BCCI. The second-highest bidder was Oppo’s sister concern, mobile brand Vivo, which bid for Rs 750 crore back then. Both Oppo and Vivo are subsidiaries of BBK Electronics Corp.

Oppo was paying BCCI Rs 4.61 crore per bilateral match and Rs 1.56 crore for an ICC event match. Star India used to pay Rs 1.92 crore per bilateral match and Rs 61 lakh for an ICC match.

Commenting on the change in sponsorship, Rahul Johri, CEO, BCCI, said, “On behalf of the BCCI, we would like to thank Oppo for its partnership with Indian Cricket. I congratulate Byju’s on becoming the new Team India sponsor. BCCI and BYJU’S share a common vision and together we will take Indian cricket forward.”

It is interesting to map the change in official sponsorships of the Indian Cricket team since 1993. From FMCG to media to telecom and now to a startup, the change in the official sponsorships shows the evolving face of India.

In 1993, the official sponsor was ITC’s cigarette brand Wills until BCCI decided not to be associated with a tobacco brand anymore. For quite some time, ITC used its hotels logo on the shirts of the team. Sahara came on board in 2002 and the deal continued till 2013. In 2014, Star came on board as the official sponsor, until the Chinese phone brand Oppo barged in, offering a huge sum to BCCI to get the official Indian team sponsorship tag in its favour.

The board will not lose any money as Byju’s will pay exactly the same amount what Oppo was paying, following the tripartite agreement.

Oppo’s logo will be seen on Team India’s jerseys until the West Indies tour that starts from August 3 and ends on September 2.

It’s only when the South Africa tour begins on September 15, Team India will start sporting Byju’s logo.

Byju’s Founder and CEO Byju Raveendran believes that just like cricket is an inspiration to millions of people in India, he hopes Byju’s will inspire the children in the same manner. Hence, the deal is most suited to the education and learning app. "We are proud to be the Indian Cricket Team sponsor. Cricket is the heartbeat of all Indians and we are thrilled to be an integral part of our much-loved team. As a learning company, Byju’s has always recognised the critical role that sport plays in a child's development,” added Raveendran.

Byju’s has so far raised Rs 3,159.4 crore in the round, led by investors such as South Africa’s Naspers, private equity firm General Atlantic, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

On discontinuing the deal with BCCI, OPPO India, said, “We would like to thank Team India and BCCI for a meaningful association that led OPPO to become a household name in just five years of operations in India. As OPPO enters its sixth year, India will continue to remain a key growth market.”

Oppo wants to invest more in local production, R&D and retail instead of spending on a very expensive sponsorship deal of the Indian Cricket Team. “A spokesperson from Oppo said, “To meet the rapidly growing consumer demand, OPPO will accelerate its efforts on local production, R&D and retail. This will help Oppo bolster its commitment to offer Indian consumers cutting-edge technology and a premium experience.”

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