Following protests by the Swadeshi Jagran Manch and major public backlash, Chinese handset major Vivo has pulled out of the IPL sponsorship deal for this year. But their sponsorship agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India has not been terminated yet.
“Vivo has dropped out of IPL sponsorship this year. Since they had three years left under the contract, they will now do 2021, 2022 and 2023 instead,” a source in BCCI said.
According to the sources, Vivo wanted a cut of Rs 130 crore for this year, citing poor sales and prevailing sentiments against Chinese companies. The company was slated to pay Rs 440 crore this year as part of the agreement.
The deal with BCCI for IPL sponsorship is Rs 2,199 crore for five years. It is after this that BCCI allowed them to walk out of the current season and are expected to float fresh tenders for title sponsorship in next three days and will then decide the title sponsor.
Speaking to SatyaVijayi, Prof Ashwani Mahajan, National co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), said, “This move is a result of public backlash. Now BCCI should come out and make themselves clear that they wouldn’t make any such deals with Chinese companies ever in future, because till now they are saying that this is only for this year and in coming years they might bring in Chinese years again. Our stand is, not now, not ever.”
Further deliberating on SJM’s future course of action against Chinese companies, he said, “For long we had been giving calls for boycotting China, but now we are also looking to do something constructive. For an Atmanirbhar Bharat, supporting our native industries is a must. We must find ways to provide them technical support, economical support and support in the market. As well as, creating awareness amongst the people to support native brands. We have chalked out an one year plan as part of which we will form district level committees comprising of people from different walks of life, including technocrats, traders, those running small scale industries, social workers and all those who can contribute in making our nation self reliant. We will encourage and honor those small scale industries which are doing a good work. Swadeshi Jagran Manch will keep working constructively towards an Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
Earlier reports had suggested that an IPL franchise had called up other franchises to inform them about Vivo’s plans to step down as the tournament’s title sponsor for this year. BCCI was upset about over one of the franchises taking it upon itself to tell other franchises about Vivo’s exit while the matter was under discussion.
On Sunday, an IPL Governing Council member had told news agency PTI that all sponsors, including Chinese companies, have been retained. “All I can say is that all our sponsors are with us. Hopefully you can read between the lines,” the member had said.
This was followed by a massive social media backlash against BCCI’s decision to continue with Vivo as the IPL title sponsor. This reaction came on the back of clashes between Indian and Chinese forces in eastern Ladakh that led to death of 20 Indian soldiers.