The Indian cricketers will now be seen sporting an Indian brand name instead of a Chinese one, with mobile maker Oppo handing over the sponsorship rights to Byju’s, a Bengaluru-based educational start up. This means that Byju’s will be the Indian Cricket Team’s official sponsor starting from 5th September, 2019 up until 31st March, 2022.
“Byju’s will be taking over all obligations of the current team sponsor OPPO mobiles India private limited (OPPO). Byju’s will now be seen on the Indian team jersey from September 2019 when the home series against South Africa begins,” a BCCI media release announced on Thursday (July 26).
Oppo had signed a record-breaking deal of ₹ 1079 crore with BCCI back in 2017 for a period of five-year. The mobile company had outbid fellow Chinese firm Vivo, who had proposed ₹ 768 crore, for the Indian team jersey rights.
As per the MoU, Oppo was supposedly paying BCCI ₹ 4.61 crore per international match and ₹ 1.56 crore for an ICC event game.
“On behalf of the BCCI, we would like to thank OPPO for its partnership with Indian Cricket. I congratulate Byju’s on becoming the new Team India sponsor. BCCI and Byju’s share a common vision and together we will take Indian cricket forward,” Rahul Johri, BCCI CEO said in the statement.
Byju Raveendran, the founder and CEO of Byju’s, said he was proud to come on board as the Indian team’s new sponsors.
“We are proud to be the Indian Cricket Team sponsor. Cricket is the heartbeat of all Indians and we are thrilled to be an integral part of our much loved team. As a learning company, BYJU’S has always recognised the critical role that sport plays in a child’s development. Just as cricket inspires a billion budding dreams across India, we too as a learning company hope to inspire the love of learning in every child’s heart,” he said.
But why the sudden exit?
Return on Investment. Having invested a heavy amount, Oppo had predicted that the deal would help in boosting its market share in the smartphone space. The smartphone maker commanded a market share of 7.4% in 2018. However, despite the phone market growing by 7% in India, Oppo still has only 7.6% share. Considering the huge investment that it made, this This made the deal to be deemed as “not viable,” thus the handing over of the sponsorship deal to Byju’s.
“We thank each one of you for your untiring efforts because of which we are now a household name in India. In line with Oppo’s growth strategy, as we enter into our sixth year of operations in India, Oppo’s commitment to India is at an all-time high. We are proud to inform you that as we experience rapidly growing consumer demand, we will continue to accelerate our focus and efforts on local production, R&D and retail. This will help strengthen Oppo’s promise to offer Indian consumers cutting-edge technology and an unmatched experience. We look forward to your contribution and support as we continue to take Oppo to new heights of success,” Oppo said after the major announcement.