Mumbai:If the BCCI had its way, the Indian team would feature a new sponsor on its jersey in about five weeks from now. But market forces and the BCCI's high price mean the board will have to wait to find a brand that's willing to pay the hefty price of 165 crore every year to sponsor the Indian cricket team.
Unbelievable but true, one of the world's hottest sporting property has been unable to find a new team sponsor. A marketing committee meeting to be held in Mumbai on Wednesday to review the bids and decide on a sponsor now stands cancelled.
The reason that the BCCI is giving is it would not be able manufacture the new jersey by January 1 as would be needed, should a new sponsor come on board. As a result, the BCCI has decided to extend Sahara's contract by 3 months i.e. till March 31st, following which they will finalise a sponsor. This means the Sahara logo will stay on Team India's jerseys for a while.
But that's the official version. According to the sources within the board, the BCCI's marketing committee is trying to negotiate the best possible deal.
Sahara had paid Rs 400 crore for team sponsorship from 2006 to 2009. The BCCI has increased the sponsorship price and is now looking at a price of at least 600-650 crore for a four-year-deal starting April 2010. The new price is about 1.5 times more than what Sahara paid to sponsor the team for the last four years, an increase the conglomerate is reluctant to play...
Apart from Sahara, Idea and Airtel, who are aggressively tying up with cricket properties, are also keen on bagging the team sponsorship. But this little hitch in finalising sponsors will also come as a wake up call for the BCCI who've now become rather used to the corporates chasing them to put down their money.