In Indian cricket, unfilled commercial slots are uncommon, but the board’s conventional opinion is not to pursue discreet stopgap agreements.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India is attempting to proceed without any jersey sponsors, thus Rohit Sharma and Company’s playing attire for the World Test Championship final may feel retro. Many of the players who have started training in the UK may be seen wearing training gear that just has the BCCI emblem and the three stripes of new kit sponsors Adidas.
Nowadays, when commercial slot maximization is the norm, this is unusual. Due to unfavorable market conditions, Byju’s decided to cancel the arrangement with BCCI for jersey sponsorship in March. The agreement was meant to last through November.
Officials from the BCCI were supposed to publish tenders inviting parties to a long-term affiliation, but they haven’t done so because they haven’t had a satisfactory answer from offline negotiations. Short-term association negotiations were also on the table, but it was decided not to proceed.
A BCCI executive added, “It would only be appropriate that Indian cricket engages with prestigious and long-term partners rather than going for low-key deals.”
Previously, BCCI received around 1.5 crores for each ICC match and 4.6 crores for each bilateral international match. The value of ICC events has increased over time, but for the financially robust BCCI, a few crores for a single match is still a drop in the bucket. They are prepared to accept the risk.
The board is hopeful that they will find the proper partners in time for the home World Cup in October–November given their recent five-year contract with Adidas and the current busy ICC calendar, which includes a white-ball world tournament every year.
However, it would be unusual to see Indian cricket players compete in unadorned attire.
For the WTC final whites, the ICC only permits advertising spaces on the leading and non-leading arms. Leading IPL franchises like the Mumbai Indians profit more than $100 million every season from all sponsorship opportunities.