The retail conglomerate Future Group has pulled out as the central sponsor of the IPL, this comes after VIVO pulled out as the title sponsors for IPL 2020 earlier this month. Though BCCI managed to get Dream11 for Rs 222 crore as the new title sponsor after fresh bidding this year.
“Yes, Future Group has pulled out of IPL central sponsorship and that’s the reason their logo has been removed from the IPL website. At this point of time, I won’t like to elaborate on the development,” a BCCI source said.
Future Group has been forced to pull out as the company is reportedly on the verge of a takeover and is inching closer to a deal with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail as the Kishore Biyani. They has suffered losses due to the prevailing hostile economic climate in the wake of the pandemic.
“Future Group has been in bad shape since the start of COVID-19. It was bound to happen that they wouldn’t have been able to spend Rs 40 crore to be a part of BCCI’s central sponsorship pool. Hence, the pullout is not a surprise,” the source said.
“Right now, the Future Group is going through a restructuring phase and there are talks with multi-national conglomerates about its potential takeover in the next few weeks. So sponsoring sporting events at the moment wasn’t the top priority for Future Group,” he added.
According to the reports, education-technology company Unacademy and the credit cards payment app Cred is in talks with the BCCI to become one of the official partners. Uncademy was the second-highest bidder with Rs 210 crores for the IPL2020 title sponsorship which was finally won by Dream11 for Rs 222 crore.
“We know it’s not an ideal situation but you can’t blame BCCI for this. There is a financial crisis. If franchises have earned and made gains during good times, they understand and stand by BCCI during troubled times,” a senior official of a franchise said.
The IPL website currently shows only four sponsors: Dream11 as title sponsors along with Tata Motors (Altroz), PayTM and Ceat tyres.