This year IPL will have a new title sponsor, gaming platform Dream 11 won the sponsorship rights with a bid of Rs 222 cr. The company will replace the former Chinese mobile phone company Vivo. The deal has assured at least a couple of year contract for the winner.
Dream 11 is an Indian company founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth. The company has seen exponential growth from the last few years. With more than 400 employees, surprisingly the majority of stakeholders are Indians. The need for the new partner came after BCCI suspended Vivo contract abruptly due to political tension between India and China. The move was based on the fact that the majority of stakeholders belong to Chinese nationality.
According to reports, in the final bidding, multinational conglomerate Tata Group didn’t participate. On the other hand, two education technology companies BYJU and Unacademy placed 201 and 170 cr bidding respectively.
The instate of new partner has aroused several questions about Chinese company Tincent’s investment in Dream 11. One of the BCCI insider privies said the share is less than 10 percent. However, BCCI Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) had sought an inquiry against the company after it was reported that the platform had links to a fake T20 league which was held in a Punjab town but was live-streamed as a game in Sri Lanka. The controversies behind the secret stakeholders are adding another suspicious angle to the case.
This year IPL will not be played in India due to Covid-19. All the matches will be played in UAE, the season will kick start on September 19.