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IPL reviews sponsorship deals amid rising Indo-China border tensions

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The rising tensions on the border amid the Galwan Valley standoff between India and China has seen the Governing Council of Indian Premier League (IPL) reviews sponsorship deals.

A country-wide movement to boycott Chinese products and services has started since the Galwan Valley standoff between India and China resulted in 20 Indian soldiers attaining martyrdom. We had also mentioned this movement to have its impact on several businesses including Licensing & Merchandising Industry. While several businesses have taken Chinese products off their shelves, the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council is also looking to review their sponsorship deals amid the current situation on the border.

The IPL has VIVO – a Chinese mobile phone-maker – as its sponsor in an INR 440 crore deal till the year 2022. Though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer had denied making any changes with the current sponsorship agreement a few days ago, the rising anti-China sentiments all across the country have made the IPL GC take up the matter on a more serious note.

“Taking note of the border skirmish that resulted in the martyrdom of our brave jawans, the IPL Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to review IPL’s various sponsorship deals,” the IPL Twitter account wrote on Friday night.

Dhumal had earlier stated that the sponsorship deal with VIVO is helping India’s cause which is why there’s no need to end IPL’s association with the Chinese brand. Just a few days from making that statement, however, the tables seemed to have tuned for the top bosses in the Indian cricketing spectrum.

“When you talk emotionally, you tend to leave the rationale behind. We have to understand the difference between supporting a Chinese company for a Chinese cause or taking help from a Chinese company to support India’s cause,” Dhumal had told PTI.

“When we are allowing Chinese companies to sell their products in India, whatever money they are taking from Indian consumer, they are paying part of it to the BCCI (as brand promotion) and the board is paying 42 per cent tax on that money to the Indian government. So, that is supporting India’s cause and not China’s,” he argued.

The Indian cricket team also had Oppo — another Chinese mobile phone-maker — as its sponsor till the last year when Byju’s – an Indian online education brand – had replaced it for a period of three years, signing a deal till 2022.

The Indian government and military officials have been in contact with their Chinese counterparts regularly over the past few days. While there’s still no confirmation over the current situation at the Galwan Valley border, it’s fair to say that Indians are preparing themselves for this internal fight against China by boycotting their products and services to whatever extent possible.


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