patanjali: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali considers bidding for IPL after Vivo retires on short notice | Cricket News – Times of India

(This story originally appeared in on Aug 10, 2020)

NEW DELHI: Baba Ramdev is considering bidding for the Indian Premier League (IPL) title sponsorship slot vacated by Chinese smartphone maker Vivo.
“We are considering the IPL title sponsorship for this year, since we want to give the Patanjali brand a global marketing platform,” Patanjali spokesperson SK Tijarawala confirmed to ET, adding Patanjali is considering making a proposal to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Market watchers said while Patanjali comes with the rub-off of being a staunch nationalistic brand replacing a Chinese one, it lacks the star power of a multinational or a heavily-invested unicorn brand.
“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,” said brand strategist Harish Bijoor.
Despite being played out of the country and possibly to empty stadiums, the IPL remains a high-visibility property that media buying firms say is likely to mark the return of big numbers in advertising.
While BCCI is scrambling to find a new sponsor after Vivo’s sudden exit at short notice, several names including Jio, Amazon, the Tata group, Dream11, Adani group and education start-up Byjus have been doing the rounds as potential candidates for the IPL sponsorship title.
The Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved, which sells a range of grocery products including toothpaste, honey and noodles in the ayurveda and natural products space, has been losing ground in large categories like biscuits and noodles over the past two years, owing to trade disruptions and allegedly inconsistent quality from time to time.
Earlier in June, the company was embroiled in controversy after Ramdev claimed its newly launched Coronil kits can cure Covid-19 patients, which led to Ayush ministry directing Patanjali to sell the product only as an immunity booster but not as a cure for Covid-19.
Vivo, which had struck a deal with the world’s richest cricket board to pay Rs 440 crore a year for the five-year sponsorship deal in 2018, may return as the main sponsor next year. The Chinese company opted out this year after an intense border clash between Indian and Chinese troops in June led to nationwide calls to boycott Chinese products.
Industry executives aware of the developments said BCCI has offered discounts of up to 50% to potential title rights holders. The board is likely to issue an expression of intent for the title rights, instead of floating a full tender process, given the shortage of time.

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