As clarion call grows in the country to boycott Chinese products in wake of the dastardly killing of 20 Indian soldiers in Galwan valley of Ladakh by China, the focus is now on the sponsorship by Chinese firms in Indian sporting arena. It is from here the #boycottChina chorus needs to begin in right earnest.
It is in cricket Chinese firms are making the moolah . The title sponsor of the Indian Premier league for period of five years from 2017 till 2022 is Vivo , who bagged it with a whopping Rs 2,199 crore bid. Which is 554 percent increase from the previous contract.
Vivo pipped Oppo who made a bid with Rs 1430 crore. Title sponsorship dates are for five years from August 1, 2017 to 31 July 2022.
Before being replaced by Byju’s, Oppo had inked a five-year deal with the BCCI in 2017, reportedly worth Rs. 1079 crore for team India jersey rights.
So will the BCCI mandarins who are now desperate to play IPL 2020 to save losses dump Vivo as IPL title sponsor? Interestingly though two BCCI officials have BJP connect Jay Shah ( Secretary ) son of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Arun Dhumal ( Treasurer) brother of MoS Finance Anurag Thakur.
It is not only cricket, Vivo has teamed up with Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) as its title sponsor. The five-year deal, which began from July 2017, is pegged at Rs 275-300 crore, making it one of the biggest sporting deals in a non cricketing event.
The chorus to boycott China will be a rhetoric only if BCCI and PKL organisers do not terminate their contracts. Will they do it putting the nation first? only time will tell.
Moreover, all will be not lost if China does not sponsor Indian sporting sides or events . If in a first, a state Odisha can sponsor for five years ( deal signed in 2018) all national teams Hockey — junior and senior, men and women, in a deal estimated to be approximately Rs 150 crore, then BCCI too can take a leaf out of Odisha’s grand initiative and see that country comes first.