Multinational conglomerate Tata Group has submitted its 'Expression of Interest' to become IPL title sponsor this year, joining education technology company Unacademy and fantasy sports platform Dream11 in a bid to replace Chinese mobile phone company Vivo for one season.
August 14, Friday, was the last date of submission of 'EOI' to the BCCI. The IPL will be held from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE this year and the winning bidder will hold the rights for four months and 13 days.
Tata Group's entry into the fray makes the bidding war on August 18 very interesting as BCCI is expecting that the winning bid will not be much lower than Vivo's Rs 440 crore annual contract even though the rights period is of a short duration.
"Yes, Tata Group has submitted their Expression of Interest to buy IPL title rights," a group spokesperson said.
A source in the BCCI earlier confirmed the submission of EOIs from the other two companies.
"The EOI doesn't have to mention the bid amount. It will be sent on August 18," the official said.
"Post the delivery of the EOI, BCCI shall inform the rights, product categories and entitlements to the interested third parties. The final bid should be sent to email@example.com between 11 am to 1pm on August 18, 2020," the BCCI has already stated.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Patanjali and Jio Communications are also reportedly in fray but no immediate confirmation was forthcoming from the BCCI on these two names.
The BCCI has made it clear that the highest bidder might not get the title sponsorship unless the parent body is satisfied with its plan for the high-valued brand.
"A lot of times, some unknown organisations can bid insanely and then you might find there are questions regarding their credibility. Also what if a company, with sizeable Chinese investment, bids?
"Then the whole postponement of partnership with Vivo will look very stupid," a veteran official said.
VIVO and BCCI postponed their partnership for one year amid widespread anti-China sentiment in India.
Anything in the range of Rs 300 to Rs 350 crore will be a victory for the BCCI in a hostile economic climate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.