MUMBAI: The BCCI, members of the Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council, multiple stakeholders, and primarily the eight franchises – almost everybody involved with the property will have to be on the same page this week, accommodate each other, avoid being stubborn and keep looking at the bigger picture if they intend to pull off the 13th edition of the league without further hassles.
As the franchises get ready to meet via teleconference Wednesday evening, neither participant can afford to indulge in penny-pinching and being “petty”.
In the last 24 hours, the franchises have been caught in the middle of a crossfire between the BCCI and its title sponsor Vivo India. As the latter moves out of IPL’s 13th edition, the BCCI has begun search for replacements to the tune of Rs 440 crore for this season alone in the wake of Vivo’s exit.
It’s an understatement to say BCCI will find it difficult to get a replacement around the same value. In fact, it will be an understatement to add that any company coming on board at even 50% of the value that Vivo brought to the table will be an accomplishment.
Thanks to all the Covid-led financial disaster, the market happens to be such at the moment even as the cricket board looks to pull off its biggest logistical exercise ever in shifting the IPL to UAE.
Here’s a look at the major concerns that BCCI, IPL franchises and the league’s other stakeholders have at this moment:
BCCI: A) To the board’s credit, they want to host the IPL and that, in the first place, should be music to the franchises’ ears. If there was no IPL, franchises wouldn’t be making any money whatsoever; B) The central revenue pool works on a 50:50 sharing ration between BCCI and franchises. If franchises are losing 50% of Vivo’s sponsorship money, BCCI is losing the other 50%; C) In the wake of Vivo’s exit, the BCCI is quite lost in the woods right now to find a replacement. The collective jersey sponsorships of all eight franchises put together hasn’t been 1/3rd of what Vivo alone was bringing to the table and that alone underlines BCCI’s headache at this moment.
Franchises: A) Franchises are, of course, sweating after Vivo’s exit. At a 50% share of Rs 220 cr from Vivo’s sponsorship, each franchise ends up losing approx. Rs 28 cr this season; B) Add to the loss from Vivo, franchises also lose out on gate money – anywhere between Rs 2.5 to 3.5 cr per match, which is around Rs 20 to 28 cr per season; C) Franchises are now demanding that the BCCI should do away with the 20% share they receive from each team’s revenue top-line, only for this season. But will BCCI agree?
Broadcaster: A) It doesn’t augur well for the broadcaster when a title sponsor pulls out just weeks before the tournament. Star has ad-stocks to sell and much of that may have involved Vivo too – an option that they’re unlikely to make use of any further; B) The longer it takes for everything to be made official, more is the time the broadcaster loses to get into activation mode across all its platforms.
Central sponsors: A) If a replacement for Vivo arrives at 50% of the original value or less, will the other sponsors also look to renegotiate numbers?; B) Do central sponsors have enough time for brand activation once the IPL officially reaches UAE?
Concerns are many and there are solutions too – provided all stakeholders sit across the table and re-evaluate if those concerns are actually bigger than the tournament itself?
Possible solutions? A) BCCI should seek advice / help from prominent stakeholders to find Vivo’s replacement; B) They should also let go of the 20% top-line revenue share they receive from franchises, only for this season; C) Franchises should let go of gate-money compensation; D) Broadcaster should acknowledge that 53 days for IPL guarantees them one of the biggest ever windows the league has seen; E) Central sponsors should do the same as broadcasters and know that BCCI will make up for the Covid year in the coming seasons; F) All concerned should coordinate better on the SOPs required to pull off this season.
If the stakeholders can come together and see appropriate reason, IPL’s 13 edition will be the eventual winner.