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IPL 2020 title sponsorship: Eyes on Amazon for UAE event

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Following the suspension of Vivo as the title sponsor for this year’s Indian Premier League tournament in the UAE, contenders to become the new brand name of the cricketing extravaganza are already emerging.

Market experts say e-commerce and e-learning companies will lead the way and one analyst claims the IPL is just the push a brand such as Amazon could need as Diwali directly follows the final on November 10. Also, the deal will come cheap too, compared to the Vivo contract. had to shell out Rs440 crore ($59 million), and the deal will be a win-win for both the new sponsor and the IPL.

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“See, at present after whatever has happened with the lockdown and economic impact, two of the biggest players would be from the e-learning and e-commerce sector,” the analyst told IANS. “You don’t expect a new player, like some start-up, to walk in. But, maybe someone like a Byju’s, which is already a part of the BCCI family, can step up and do the big ticket event. Not to forget Unacademy who have been looking to associate itself with the cricket fraternity.

“When you come to the e-commerce side of things, while Diwali is four days after the final, you don’t shop two days before the occasion. You actually do it a month leading into the festival. What better than for Amazon or Flipkart to use that space and get ultimate mileage? Also, you have to realise that nobody will be paying Rs440 crore. So, in short, you get the best advertising seat for say half or 1/3rd the value. It cannot get better than this actually.”

Advertising film-maker Prahlad Kakkar also believes the pharmaceutical sector could make a bid, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but his front-runner is also Amazon.

“I don’t know if Amazon will look to come in as they are pretty cautious in their approach,” he said. “But if they do, they could take it away. E-learning brands yes. But also, you have to keep in mind the pharma companies because they have done really well in this market. So, why not? What you must remember is that the IPL will take the cake this season because people will be glued to the television. I think it could be a win-win situation whoever decides to take up the offer.”

Another market expert said that it would be very surprising if telecommunications brand Jio comes in, and that could be more to do with the good terms the owners share with the BCCI.

“See, Jio is already a brand that is individually associated with the eight teams,” the expert said. “Why would it further want to get into the title sponsorship game? If they do, that would be more to do with the relationship they share with the BCCI. Also, as per statistics, they have been one of the most prominent brands in the IPL window ever since they associated themselves with the eight teams.

“But then, you can never rule Jio out as the telecom industry has the capability if it wishes to. I would term them as the dark horse. For me, the favourites would be between an e-learning brand or an e-commerce one.”

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