India news May 31, 2010

Sahara to continue as Indian team sponsor

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The Sahara Group will continue as sponsors of the Indian team after they won the contract by bidding Rs. 3.34 crores ($719,000) per match, a marketing committee official has told Cricinfo. The current sponsorship contract ends on June 30 and the new one runs until December 31, 2013. A top Sahara official also confirmed the development. Bharti Airtel, the only other company in the fray, put in a bid for Rs 2.89 crore ($628, 260) per match.

"We take pride in sponsoring the Indian national team," Abhijit Sarkar, corporate affairs head at Sahara, said.

Sahara's winning bid comes as something of a surprise as chairman Subrata Roy had said the company would re-evaluate its sponsorship of the Indian team after it bagged the Pune IPL franchise. According to market sources, Sahara decided to bid again because an analysis of the numbers turned out positive. It paid Rs 407 crores ($88 million) over the last four years, so the new deal requires roughly Rs 85 crores ($18.5 million) more, which doesn't hurt the group much.

Sahara waited until the last minute before entering the bidding because it was worried about the response from its competitors. It feared the price of the deal could rise over Rs 500 crores if its interest was publicly known. The deal is solely to sponsor the Indian men's team, as the group was not interested in spending an extra Rs 10-15 crore on the other three squads (women's, India A and Under-19).

The BCCI is not bothered by the failure to attract a sponsor for the three other teams, and will not attempt to find one, a board official who is a member of the marketing committee, told Cricinfo. As it stands, these teams don't play a lot of matches anyway, and when they do, the matches aren't always televised. Occasionally, the matches even clash with those of the Indian team, robbing them of any value, the official said.

The board had set a base price of Rs 2.5 crores ($ 541,000) per match for the three-and-a-half-year period, during which India will play between 144 and 167 matches, depending on how far the team progresses in ICC tournaments. At Rs 3.34 crores a match, the Sahara deal is worth between Rs 481 crores ($104 million) and Rs 558 crores ($121 million). A member of the BCCI marketing committee told Cricinfo that the board is very happy with the new deal, as it represents a 50% increase per match over the previous deal (in actuality, the increase is much higher).

Under the terms of the previous deal, Sahara paid Rs 1.91 crores ($ 412,000) per Test, Rs 2.09 crores ($ 455,000) per ODI and Rs 1.57 crores ($ 340,000) per Twenty20. The new price is the same across all three formats, and more than doubles the price of a Twenty20 game, highlighting its appeal and popularity.

The board had originally issued a tender late last year with a base price of Rs 3 crores ($ 650,000) per match, but failed to attract a single bid. As a stop gap measure, the Sahara Group agreed to extend its sponsorship of the Indian team for a further six months.

The Indian board issued the tender on Monday inviting companies to bid for the rights and the bidding period closed on Saturday.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ash4u8iit on June 1, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    this comment will also be lost in the archives of cricinfo. BCCI & sports ministry both should be dimantled, because they have been proven disasters. Be in C Games or IPL. I think its high time that govt should float a PSU, which is manned by man of integrity. That's the only way to develop sports culture in this country.

  • nandooo on June 1, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    @RemoBond: Well, what do you think they (or you) can do with that money after the world ends on Dec 21st 2012? Also, I don't think they pay the money now. They pay when the match is played.

    That said, who do you now think is foolish?

  • on June 1, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    only 2 companies in the biddin process?? wish there were biggies like Reliance and Tatas....

  • Vicky_22 on June 1, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    Mr.Bond (@Remo)actually what you want to say if world is going to be an end on 21st 2012 then what is the use to keep that much amount for Sahara group or any other groups ??? 'live at this moment don't think future too much'

  • on June 1, 2010, 2:04 GMT

    Sahara group has invested more than 1300 crores in IPL.... so they seems not interested even this bid.. but they fortunate enough to get it back. that's all!

  • on May 31, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    "well i think some of this share must be donated for improvement and development of football in india. BCCI must act like a public venture for sports instead of a profit making pvt. ltd. " Really? Why would Board of Control for Cricket in India... Read, CRICKET donate money to football? I am just disappointed with the reluctance to support the India A, under 19 and the Women's team.

  • tmartis on May 31, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    The men's teams is obviously the most profitable for the board. But I hope the board did not forget that is needs to fully support all the other teams as well. And the Indian Women's team is very much part of it. They deserve a good slice of the pie as well as they also represent India, and of course being an Indian supporter you want all your teams to do well.

  • on May 31, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    Sad to see the A team and the women's team not getting a single bid for sponsor.

  • on May 31, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    i think the sahara group is foolish to sponsor india till 2013.. Don they know that world will end on dec 21st 2012?? why waste that much money?? :D

  • on May 31, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    Whats wrong with Sahara. Earlier they were ready to sponsor every sport and in cricket only women's team. Now they are sponsoring only men. Really bad! Whats women's mistake in this?

  • ash4u8iit on June 1, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    this comment will also be lost in the archives of cricinfo. BCCI & sports ministry both should be dimantled, because they have been proven disasters. Be in C Games or IPL. I think its high time that govt should float a PSU, which is manned by man of integrity. That's the only way to develop sports culture in this country.

  • nandooo on June 1, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    @RemoBond: Well, what do you think they (or you) can do with that money after the world ends on Dec 21st 2012? Also, I don't think they pay the money now. They pay when the match is played.

    That said, who do you now think is foolish?

  • on June 1, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    only 2 companies in the biddin process?? wish there were biggies like Reliance and Tatas....

  • Vicky_22 on June 1, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    Mr.Bond (@Remo)actually what you want to say if world is going to be an end on 21st 2012 then what is the use to keep that much amount for Sahara group or any other groups ??? 'live at this moment don't think future too much'

  • on June 1, 2010, 2:04 GMT

    Sahara group has invested more than 1300 crores in IPL.... so they seems not interested even this bid.. but they fortunate enough to get it back. that's all!

  • on May 31, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    "well i think some of this share must be donated for improvement and development of football in india. BCCI must act like a public venture for sports instead of a profit making pvt. ltd. " Really? Why would Board of Control for Cricket in India... Read, CRICKET donate money to football? I am just disappointed with the reluctance to support the India A, under 19 and the Women's team.

  • tmartis on May 31, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    The men's teams is obviously the most profitable for the board. But I hope the board did not forget that is needs to fully support all the other teams as well. And the Indian Women's team is very much part of it. They deserve a good slice of the pie as well as they also represent India, and of course being an Indian supporter you want all your teams to do well.

  • on May 31, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    Sad to see the A team and the women's team not getting a single bid for sponsor.

  • on May 31, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    i think the sahara group is foolish to sponsor india till 2013.. Don they know that world will end on dec 21st 2012?? why waste that much money?? :D

  • on May 31, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    Whats wrong with Sahara. Earlier they were ready to sponsor every sport and in cricket only women's team. Now they are sponsoring only men. Really bad! Whats women's mistake in this?

  • Deb_Rockstars on May 31, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    "We take pride in sponsoring the Indian national team," - Abhijit Sarkar. Contrast this with "Sahara waited until the last minute before entering the bidding" and "The deal is solely to sponsor the Indian men's team, as the group was not interested in spending an extra Rs 10-15 crore on the other three squads (women's, India A and Under-19)". If they were so 'proud' about 'sponsoring the Indian national team', what happened with the other squads ? Arn't the women's team a national team ? Its ridiculous how the corporates try to put on a cloak of patriotism on cold business decisions. Just one word for them - Grow Up - we can see through your 'patriotism'.

  • Ravichamp on May 31, 2010, 17:01 GMT

    BCCI is only a money making body and will not be bothered a bit even if there are no sponsors for the women's, India A and Under-19 team. These team playing matches do not bring money into BCCI coffers anyway. With the IPL there is least coverage in the media for these matches. How much money does BCCI spend for the betterment for cricket, will anyone enlighten me?.

  • kaustubh101197 on May 31, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    i hope that some other company spnsors the jerseys............ But still..... Sahara was the lucky sponsor of indian jerseys, as indian team played really well in their sponsored jerseys.

  • bhaskaar on May 31, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    well i think some of this share must be donated for improvement and development of football in india. BCCI must act like a public venture for sports instead of a profit making pvt. ltd.

  • on May 31, 2010, 13:42 GMT

    its boring to see the same sponsor for so many years .. england changed to brit and its so refreshing .. airtel wud ve don wel as sponsors..

  • SUNDOS on May 31, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    This is a good time for some degree of accountability to be established.SAHARA have always had their hearts in the right place.Dont forget INDIA is the NO 1 ranked test team in the world,a few good performances in the coming months and a WORLD CUP at home should see the sponsors get good returns on their investments.

  • on May 31, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    I hope there will be new jerseys for the indian team.

  • shakir23 on May 31, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    I wonder whats the share of bcci and the players outta the 3.34 crores per match. Indian cricket is the place to be.

  • D.Pramod on May 31, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Dear Mr Gollapudi,

    This might sound like nitpicking but do you feel that "publically" (as in "It feared the price of deal could rise over Rs 500 crores if its interest was publically known.") is synctactically accurate?

    A more conventional usage would have been "publicly known".

    Thanks and Regards,

    D.Pramod

  • on May 31, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    Rs. 3.34 crores ($719,000) per match. Everywhere money for BCCI......they should invest it for Test cricket match.......

  • on May 31, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    Rs. 3.34 crores ($719,000) per match for eacg format of match....in Test...in ODI...& in Twenty20......thats amazing....

  • on May 31, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    whats d use of earning so much money when the BCCI spends only 8% of its revenues for the betterment of this game....

  • on May 31, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    719,000$ thats a huge amount... i don know where BCCI will spend that money

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  • on May 31, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    719,000$ thats a huge amount... i don know where BCCI will spend that money

  • on May 31, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    whats d use of earning so much money when the BCCI spends only 8% of its revenues for the betterment of this game....

  • on May 31, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    Rs. 3.34 crores ($719,000) per match for eacg format of match....in Test...in ODI...& in Twenty20......thats amazing....

  • on May 31, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    Rs. 3.34 crores ($719,000) per match. Everywhere money for BCCI......they should invest it for Test cricket match.......

  • D.Pramod on May 31, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Dear Mr Gollapudi,

    This might sound like nitpicking but do you feel that "publically" (as in "It feared the price of deal could rise over Rs 500 crores if its interest was publically known.") is synctactically accurate?

    A more conventional usage would have been "publicly known".

    Thanks and Regards,

    D.Pramod

  • shakir23 on May 31, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    I wonder whats the share of bcci and the players outta the 3.34 crores per match. Indian cricket is the place to be.

  • on May 31, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    I hope there will be new jerseys for the indian team.

  • SUNDOS on May 31, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    This is a good time for some degree of accountability to be established.SAHARA have always had their hearts in the right place.Dont forget INDIA is the NO 1 ranked test team in the world,a few good performances in the coming months and a WORLD CUP at home should see the sponsors get good returns on their investments.

  • on May 31, 2010, 13:42 GMT

    its boring to see the same sponsor for so many years .. england changed to brit and its so refreshing .. airtel wud ve don wel as sponsors..

  • bhaskaar on May 31, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    well i think some of this share must be donated for improvement and development of football in india. BCCI must act like a public venture for sports instead of a profit making pvt. ltd.