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Title sponsor ends IPL association

Tariq Engineer

August 28, 2012

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Kolkata Knight Riders with their first IPL trophy, Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2012, final, Chennai, May 27, 2012
DLF has been associated with the IPL for the first five seasons © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: Indian Premier League
Teams: India

DLF Ltd, India's largest real estate firm, has decided not to renew its title sponsorship of the IPL, ending its five-year association with the tournament. The company had the first right of refusal on a new contract, but was considered unlikely to sign up a second time given the slump in the real estate market and the decline in the IPL's television ratings over the last two years.

"Sponsoring IPL over the last five years was a strategic decision wherein we wanted to establish our brand presence across India as the leading real estate player," Rajeev Talwar, DLF Group Executive Director told PTI. "Our IPO came in 2007, a year before the IPL started. We were very aggressive pan-India then. We had good presence in all big cities." The company is now concentrating on those cities where its core strengths lie.

According to Talwar, DLF spent Rs 250 crore (US$ 44.96 million) on the IPL over the five years of its contract. While it has pulled out of the Twenty20 league, it still has plans to promote other sports, though Talwar ruled out owning a franchise or a team. He also said the amount of money the company would spend "will be less than Rs 50 crore ($9 million) a year that we spent in IPL."

The company's decision not to renew their deal with the BCCI is also another indication of the value of the IPL taking a hit over the last couple of years as TV ratings have flattened. Ratings for IPL 5 were just about in line with 2011. The overall tournament rating was 3.45, compared to 3.51 a year ago, according to Tam Sports, a division of TAM Research, the leading television ratings agency in India. In contrast, the 2010 tournament had an average TVR of 5.51.

In April, Talwar told the Business Standard that renewing the contract "depends on how do they [the BCCI] perceive the value." The BCCI had indicated any new sponsorship agreement would be for a higher value than the original agreement. DLF was obviously not willing to meet the board's asking price. In a climate where the general economic situation is worsening - revenues for Multi-Screen Media, the tournament's broadcaster, dropped this year as companies cut back on advertising - means the board could have a tough time finding a replacement sponsor at the price that they desire.

DLF is the third title sponsor to pull out of a BCCI backed tournament in the last two years. Airtel pulled out as title sponsors of the Champions League T20 in 2011 while their replacement, Nokia, pulled out earlier this year. DLF is already involved in golf and tennis. It provides prize money of about Rs 1 crore ($179,000) to the winner of the annual DLF Masters and is one of the sponsors of this year's Davis Cup, on which they will be spending Rs 2 crore, according to Talwar.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Shan--IND on (August 31, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

Its silly so many people cant see the thing properly... read again... it says DLF is not continuing becoz for the next contract period the price is going to be double/treble... DLF won the 1st title rights wen IPL was not even started... the franchise value rose from US$50M as base price in the beginning to now US$350-400M... similarly the title rights is going to be 3x to 5x more...

not many in India knew abt DLF before IPL, now not jus India even the world heard abt DLF... thats the value IPL provides to a sponsor... so there will be many more who can pay more & get the return value out of it...

Posted by Sakthiivel on (August 29, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

We will have a news in few days saying IPL gets new sponsor which double or triple the old deal..

Posted by Desilathha on (August 29, 2012, 17:32 GMT)

BCCI will get another sponsor with even better offer for sure. People need to understand Tv ratings, though the tournament score has reduced but number of people increased too. Number of people watching the IPL rose in 2012 than in 2010.

Posted by ashok16 on (August 29, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

I think this is just a sign that the real estate bubble in India is about to burst. IPL contract for the coming years will be a marginally bigger one than the previous one. IPL is here to stay but the rule makers and marketers will need some improvement.

Posted by wolf777 on (August 29, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

No more 'DLF Maximum'....it wasn't maximum with short boundries anyway...

Posted by serious-am-i on (August 29, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

@CRLShamalka: What kind of market do u have in SLPL ? You have Indians buying your teams, ur countrymen can't even afford to be sponsors and u expect SLPL to be a touch ahead of IPL, then u r joking. If Mahindra wants to sponsor IPL it will take a toll on them, Mahindra only started in SLPL because they started their market expansion only recently, its a business decision. IPL is not going away my friend. IPL will stay may be a bit less glamorous. Not even 10% of IPL viewers are watching SLPL, so don't dream too much. @Dharshan Tharmakulasingam: Lets not talk about SLPL shall we ? @GerrardLK: Sorry to disappoint you but IPL isn't going anywhere my friend.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (August 29, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

This is a day to give thanks. No more DLF maximums. Every year I start watching the IPL to see old legends like Gilly, but after a few matches of hearing Danny Morrison screaming 'he's DLFed it into the stands!!!!' I can't watch any more.

Posted by   on (August 29, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

Have some meaningful sponsor please.

Posted by   on (August 29, 2012, 11:57 GMT)

I dunno what this news means to the others, but for me it's a relief, for I won't have to hear another shout of "DLF Maximum!"

Posted by The-love on (August 29, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

@Ajay Vijayan :-I don't know in which world u r living man....All around world people are watching IPL.....Crowd is gonna increase only....

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