MPL Sports, whose brand ambassador is the captain of the Indian Cricket Team, Virat Kohli, will sponsor the new kits of the cricket team. The sponsorship contract was signed between MPL and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday for Rs. 120 crores and revenue share, where BCCI gets 10 percent of every merchandise sold by MPL.
MPL Sports Apparel and Accessories is replacing Nike, who has been the kit sponsor of the team since 2006. Nike’s last deal with BCCI was for four years and was worth Rs. 370 crores plus a Rs. 30 crore royalty. Fresh tenders were floated as Nike wanted a concession in pricing due to the market slowdown due to the covid pandemic. The new deal with MPL is way smaller in size, showing the small size of the sports merchandise market in India.
"MPL is focused on bringing the best gaming experience to its fans online through our app and we are extending that to the offline space through our exclusive range of merchandise including apparel and accessories," said a source, as per a report in Outlook India.
Abhishek Madhavan, Senior Vice President, Growth and Marketing, MPL and MPL Sports, said: “India is a market with a billion cricket fans and we see a lot of potential in the underpenetrated merchandise market in India. We hope to partner closely with the BCCI and take all kinds of Team India merchandise to the masses - with offline as well as online distribution at affordable prices. Associating with the Indian national cricket team is a matter of huge pride for us and we want every fan in the country to feel the same way and have access to the merchandise they can proudly flaunt.”
I was a negotiated deal and there wasn’t any bidding. Other companies interested in the partnership with BCCI included Puma, Dream11 Sports and Proline.
Online gaming companies are frequently partnering with cricket franchises. Fantasy sports platform My11Circle is the new title sponsor of the Lanka Premier League (LPL), which runs from November 26 to December 16.
Dream11 recently took up the title sponsorship of the Indian Premier League (IPL), after Vevo withdrew due to the backlash on Chinese goods in India.
In the past, MPL has also partnered with KKR and RCB franchises in IPL, TKR in CPL and the cricket boards of Ireland and the UAE. MPL recently raised US$75 M in funding from private equity firm SIG Global India Fund.