Tata Group company Tata Sons, fantasy sports platform Dream 11, and e-learning start-up rivals Byju's and Unacademy have expressed interest in bidding for the title rights of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League.
The window for 'Expression of Interest', floated by BCCI on Monday, ended on Friday evening. Despite intense speculation, telecom major Jio, commodity company Patanjali Ayurved and tech giant Microsoft didn't come to the table.
The Tatas, already an official IPL partner, are being seen as front-runners as BCCI looks to boost over Rs 300 crore within the middle of a raging pandemic. With the Indian cricket board also set to bring two more official partners - expanding the pool from three to 5 - the IPL is about to form up almost 75% of what it ended up losing within the wake of Chinese mobile manufacturer Vivo India's exit.
Vivo was contracted to pay the BCCI Rs 440 cr per annum during a five-year rights cycle between 2018-2022.
Dream 11, a major player within the sports sponsorship market, and Byju's - sponsor of Team India's jersey - are keen on the rights too. Unacademy, Byju's direct rivals within the e-learning sector, have already initiated talks with BCCI to return on board as official partners along side fintech company Cred.
Unacademy will stay as official partners should Byju's fail to accumulate the title rights. "That's a separate rivalry build up between the 2 . If Byju's win the title rights, Unacademy will need to move out of the OP space," those tracking developments said.
BCCI is learnt to possess given Unacademy and Cred a verbal come on board as official partners, "subject to title rights".
"Tata suits the bill to sponsor IPL as, just like the game which features a varied audience, the group too has varied businesses. Tata itself may be a large enough brand to match IPL," said brand strategist Harish Bijoor, adding that from the "Made in India" perspective, no brand fits better than Tata.