Ever since its inception in 2008, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has grown from strength to strength. A mere sporting event in its initial days, the league, has transformed into arguably the most glamorous annual event of the nation.
The cash-rich tournament scripted a new chapter in the game that once failed to keep pace with the time. Everything about cricket was outdated as it still struggled to shed off its colonising character. The introduction of the IPL in 2008 dawned a whole new era for the game.
Lalit Modi, who gave birth to the seemingly-radical idea, studied business models of numerous football leagues in Europe and the USA before coming up with the final plan. The purists outrightly dismissed the format, media and fans doubted its sustainability and sponsors were initially hesitant to invest their money.
Fast forward to its 13th season, the popularity of the league has been a tight slap to all the doubters and naysayers. Revenue-wise, it has grown into one of the most lucrative leagues of the world. Although there are various sources of the revenue, the amount generated from sponsorship makes up the lion’s share of the income for the league.
Now as the 2020 edition of the T20 extravaganza gets closer, with the opening match to be played on September 19 in UAE, it is worthwhile to look back at the year-wise leading sponsor from the very beginning to the current season.
1. DLF (2008-12) – 40 cr
DLF signed a four-year deal by making the highest bid of INR 40 crores in the inaugural season of the tournament. It is a Gurugram-based real-estate behemoth founded by Chaudhary Raghvendra Singh in 1946.
The deal ended in 2012 after which the brand decided not to renew.
2. Pepsi (2013-15) – 79.2 cr
Global giant Pepsico became the second brand to sponsor the league. They signed a five-year deal for a whopping INR 396 crores.
However, the soft-drink manufacturers pulled out its name two years before the corruption scandal which rocked the tournament in 2015. Sensing negative publicity, Pepsi decided to withdraw its name.
3. VIVO (2016-17) – 100 cr
Chinese mobile manufacturer VIVO signed a title sponsorship agreement for the 2016 season after PepsiCo ended its contract prematurely.
VIVO paid INR 100 crores per year to the BCCI and also renewed their contract.
4. VIVO (2018-19) – 439.8 cr
After successful completion of its two-year contract, VIVO unhesitatingly renewed their deal after making an audacious bid of INR 2,199 crore for five years.
The Chinese titan paid a staggering amount of INR 440 crore per year. However, it soon became the second company to terminate its agreement before time.
VIVO walked away from the 2020 season of the IPL following the armed conflicts between India and China that led to anti-China sentiments swaying across the nation.
5. Dream11 (2020) – 222 cr
Dream11 became the fourth brand to bag a title sponsorship rights in 2020. The board faced a lot of difficulties after VIVO backed out a month ahead of the tournament.
Although at half the amount what VIVO would have paid him, the BCCI will be happy to rope in Dream11 for the IPL 2020. The fantasy sports platform will be spending INR 222 crores for one year deal.