Reigning champions Mumbai Indians in action during the UAE leg of the IPL in 2014. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News archive

Dubai: The Indian cricket board (read: president Sourav Ganguly) had their way when they officially announced fantasy gaming platform Dream11 only as this year’s IPL title-sponsor but turned down their three-year proposal due to “low” bid amounts for 2021 and 2022.

A day after IPL chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed Dream11 as their choice of sponsors, informed sources told Gulf News on Wednesday morning that the BCCI supremo was not exactly happy since he felt it would be under-selling the title-sponsorship rights for 2021 and 2022 seasons at the agreed terms. Dream11 reortedly offered to pay Rs 240 crore (Dh 115 million approximately) for second and third years, respectively, in case VIVO did not come back. The Chinese mobile phone manufacturers were forced to pull out of its Rs 440 crore per year (Dh 220 million) deal this season due to the Sino-India border stand-off.


Sources said BCCI and Dream11 negotiated on the conditional three-year bid and the board asked the company to raise the amount considerably for the next two seasons.

The deal with VIVO, originally till 2022, is now expected to continue for another year till 2023 due to the suspension of sponsorship this year. However, with Dream11’s sponsorship deal now limited to the current season, the BCCI has kept the options open to throw open fresh tenders in case VIVO withdraw for good - where Dream11 will have to throw in their hat afresh.

Patel said in a statement on Wednesday: “We welcome Dream11 on board as title sponsor for the 2020 edition of the IPL. Dream11 upgrading their association from an Official Partner to Title Sponsors is a great testament to the brand IPL. As a digital brand, it will give them leverage to create exciting online engagement for fans sitting at home and watching the matches.”

A Mumbai-based company, Dream XI currently partners a total of 19 sports leagues alongwith six Indian Premier League franchises. Harsh Jain, CEO & Co-Founder of Dream Sports (Dream11), said: “The launch of IPL in 2008 gave birth to the idea of Dream11. As avid sports fans, we wanted to offer fantasy cricket to IPL fans to help them further engage with the sport they love and showcase their sports knowledge & skill.

‘‘Being a proud homegrown Indian brand that is made in India, by Indians and exclusively for Indian sports fans, we would like to thank the BCCI for giving us an opportunity to become the Title Sponsor of IPL, which in our opinion is the world’s greatest sports property. We believe that ‘Dream11 IPL’ also perfectly defines what IPL is all about: every team fielding its Dream11 team culminating in the IPL finals determining The Dream11. We are happy to continue building our partnership.’’