Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary, admitted to the IPL’s brand value taking a hit in the aftermath of the 2013 spot fixing scandal, but stressed on the market not having lost faith in the tournament and Indian cricket.
“As far as the branding is concerned, I personally feel yes, we got a hit,” Thakur said, while officially unveiling Vivo as the IPL’s title sponsor for the next two years. “In the last couple of years, we have struggled. But we have brought reforms in the last few months. That has paid off.
“We had four people lined up to bid for the title sponsorship. I am glad that Vivo came on board. They wanted to be partners for the next seven to twelve years but we had the option to go for only two years. As far as the brand is concerned, cricket is still a popular game and IPL still remains one of the strongest brands.”
While he declined to spell out the names of the four interested corporate entities, he hinted that some of those “first-generation companies” will soon be unveiled as BCCI/ IPL partners. Thakur also added that the BCCI’s recent move to introduce ‘no conflict of interest’ declarations among representatives of its affiliates and former cricketers was an outcome of the 2013 scandal.
“If you look at it, that’s an initiative taken by the BCCI, because where the incident started, when it happened, if someone in that crucial position was unable to take any call at that time, was that because of conflict of interest? Has that dented the image of the BCCI? In future, how you can take precautions?” he explained.
“We wanted to draw a line somewhere against anyone having a conflict of interest, irrespective of whether he is a coach, player or administrator, so that the image doesn’t get any dent or no such untoward incident happens in the future. We are trying to create a paper which makes it clearer. We are trying to circulate a paper to all the members to come back with the various relations and clarifications, which will be discussed in the upcoming AGM on November 9.”
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.