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Dream11 to be IPL title sponsor for 2020 season only

The BCCI on Wednesday announced fantasy gaming platform Dream11 as this year’s IPL title sponsor but the company will not stay on board for the next two seasons after its conditional three-year proposal was rejected due to “low” bid amounts for 2021 and 2022.

Dream11 pipped educational technology companies BYJUs and Unacademy to win the rights for a period of four months and 13 days with a bid of Rs 222 crore, replacing Chinese mobile phone company Vivo.

“The IPL Governing Council has announced Dream11 as the new Title Sponsor of the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League. Dream11 (Sports Technologies Pvt. Ltd) is an Indian company based in Mumbai, Maharashtra,” a BCCI statement said on Wednesday, confirming what IPL chairman Brijesh Patel had stated on Tuesday.

Dream11 offered to pay Rs 240 crore for years two and three in case Vivo did not come back. Vivo was forced to pull out of its Rs 440 crore per year deal this season due to the Sino-India border stand-off.

Sources said the BCCI and Dream11 negotiated on the conditional three-year bid and the board asked the company to raise the amount considerably for the next two seasons.

“Dream11 bid the highest but why will BCCI give them the rights for Rs 240 crore when we can expect the COVID-19 situation to improve in the next two years,” a veteran BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“We still have our deal with Vivo on. We haven’t closed it as it’s a pause. If we are getting Rs 440 crore, why will we settle for Rs 240 crore?” the official asked.

Dream11’s association with sports has grown over the years and it is presently partnering a total of 19 leagues along with six Indian Premier League Franchises.

“We welcome Dream11 on board as Title Sponsor for the 2020 edition of the IPL. Dream11 upgrading their association from an Official Partner to Title Sponsors is a great testament to the brand IPL,” IPL chairman Patel was quoted as saying in the BCCI press release.

“As a digital brand, it will give them leverage to create exciting online engagement for fans sitting at home and watching the matches. We look forward to delivering great value to Dream11,” he added.

Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-founder, Dream Sports, said: “Being a proud homegrown Indian brand that is made in India, by Indians and exclusively for Indian sports fans, we would like to thank the BCCI for giving us an opportunity to become the title sponsor of IPL.”

It is expected that BCCI will open fresh bids for 2021 and 2022 in case Vivo doesn’t come back but the world’s richest cricket board won’t settle for anything less than Rs 400 crore.