After it was announced the VIVO would be dropping out as IPL 2020 sponsors amid strong anti-Chinese sentiment, Twitter users had joked if Patanjali would be the new title sponsors.
Now, it would appear that the jokes had some meat as Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali considers a bid to become a title sponsor.
Patanjali’s spokesperson SK Tijarwala told ET that the brand was indeed considering bidding for the IPL title sponsorship since it would give them a ‘global marketing platform’.
Reacting, brand strategist Harish Bijoor said: “Patanjali as a title sponsor for IPL will do more for Patanjali than for IPL. While the caste hierarchy among brands could play out, Patanjali owning the title sponsorship would be contextual from a nationalist perspective, since there is an enormous anti-China sentiment prevailing in the country.
”Patanjali’s move comes after an RSS-affiliate had threatened to boycott IPL if Chinese sponsors weren’t dropped. While the BCCI said it had ‘decided to suspend’ its partnership for 2020, Vivo called it ‘mutually agreed’.Other IPL sponsors – Paytm, Swiggy and Dream 11 – also have Chinese funding.
No crisis – Sourav Ganguly
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly stated that Vivo's exit as title sponsor for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) shouldn't be seen as the financial crisis.
The BCCI, last week, had decided to officially announce the suspension of the partnership with title sponsors Vivo. The move came after the BCCI and the IPL Governing Council were both criticised for retaining Vivo as the title sponsor amid the raging anti-China sentiment.
"I wouldn't call it as a financial crisis," Ganguly said while speaking during a webinar organised by Learnflix, as per ESPNCricinfo. "It's just a little bit of a blip. And the only way you can do it is by being professionally strong over a period of time.”
"Big things don't come overnight. And big things don't go away overnight. Your preparation for a long period of time gets (you) ready for losses, gets you ready for successes.
"You keep your other options open. It is like Plan A and Plan B. Sensible people do it. Sensible brands do it. Sensible corporates do it. BCCI, it's a very a strong foundation - the game, the players, the administrators in the past have made this game so strong that BCCI is able to handle all these blips," he added.
Meanwhile, the suspension of Vivo's title sponsorship has opened up the market for a new brand to come in for the cash-rich league. Market experts believe it will be a case of one from either e-commerce or e-learning companies coming in with the telecom sector playing the role of the dark horse.