The base price in the tender that had been scaled down to Rs 61 lac per game – a 31% dip – will remain that way. The existing contract with Nike, which runs out next month, saw the apparel and sports kit maker paying the board Rs 88 lac per game along with a separate minimum guarantee of approx Rs six crore per year.
The new tender process underlines that BCCI will accept bids from companies that are not necessarily sports kit and apparel manufacturers, as long as these potential bidders ensure they have a back-end tie-up/arrangement with sports kit and apparel companies.
Just by way of example, Byju’s – an educational app company that bought the jersey partner rights of the Indian team from Oppo last year – will be allowed to bid for the apparel rights if they have a back-end tie-up with a sports apparel company.
A potential bidder that is into apparel manufacturing but not necessarily sports apparel will also be allowed to bid. “For instance, the Aditya Birla Group, that runs Van Heusen India (an apparel brand) can also bid for the rights,” say those in the know.
BCCI has opened the space for a variety of potential bidders who wouldn’t mind grabbing logo space on the jersey arm. The apparel company that comes on board through a back-end tie-up with the bidder will find space behind the Team India cap. It is not confirmed though if any royalty or barter products will be part of the deal, which was the case with Nike’s contract.
A healthier market would’ve seen the BCCI peg the per-game base price at Rs 88 lac, the amount Nike was paying until now, apropos of the minimum guarantee. However, in a market severely affected by Covid, the Board has found enough substance in slicing off the margin for now.
TOI understands Nike, the existing rights holder, is looking to partner with Indian fashion e-commerce company Myntra. As an example, should Nike and Myntra bid successfully, the arrangement can be on the following lines: Nike will get to sell the Team India jersey with the necessary official logos on it while Myntra will be free to get involved in fan merchandising (unofficial jerseys but part of the apparel umbrella).
Nike’s biggest industry rival, Puma, is also looking to enter the race. TOI understands the German company recently was in talks with individuals in BCCI to understand the pros & cons of the bidding process. While Puma is a sports kit and apparel manufacturer, they also have a fashion line of their own that the company can put into use for fan merchandising.
“Puma’s biggest ambassador in India is Virat Kohli. It’s close to Rs 100 cr per year deal. However, they’ve struggled for visibility because 90% of the time, Virat is always seen in the Team India jersey that has Nike all over. For Puma, it’ll be a win-win if they grab this space,” say industry voices.
Apart from Nike/Myntra and Puma, fantasy sports platform Dream XI too is looking to bid for the rights and will look for a back-end arrangement with a sports kit manufacturer. TOI understands that a potential bidder will be free to do a post-bid back-end deal with a sports kit manufacturer as long as the required conditions are met.
BCCI expects a healthy bid process while the industry expects Nike to get back on board with Team India. Those tracking developments say “all that BCCI needs to ensure is, by way of the changes in rules of the contract, undeserving market players don’t end up grabbing space on the Team India jersey. Indian cricket is a global brand and the jersey should have the required global appeal”.
US-based online apparel market retailers & distributors Sports Fanatics, Jalandhar-based TK Sports and some other non-apparel companies are also looking to enter the race.