Vivo Mobiles, a Chinese mobile phone maker, has replaced PepsiCo Inc. as title sponsor of India’s premier cricket league, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in an e-mailed statement.
Despite being a new entrant, Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has a marketing budget in excess of Rs125 crore in India, supported by its parent who wants to make the country its second largest market after home.
Vivo replaced PepsiCo as the title sponsor of the T20 tournament, after the beverages maker pulled out two years before its term ended, citing concerns over ethical issues and the spot -fixing scandal that rocked the IPL.
In the 2013 season of the IPL, Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandila and S Sreesanth were arrested over charges of spot- fixing. This was followed by allegations that Chennai Super Kings team principle Gurunath Meiyappan, and Raj Kundra, co- owner of Rajasthan Royals, were involved in betting.
The BCCI banned the three cricketers for life and the Supreme Court appointed the Justice Mudgal committee to investigate the scandal.
On Sunday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced that the IPL title sponsorship right has been assigned to Vivo, but didn’t disclose the financial terms. A BCCI official indicated that it could be around Rs 150 crore for two years. It also extended Nike Inc.’s contract as the tournament’s official apparel sponsor.
Vivo is focusing much more on offline retail. Its goal is to create a wide sales network in offline stores, which still account for 80per cent of smartphone sales in India. Brands like Xiaomi and Huawei, and for that matter several newer entrants, are still focussing on online-only sales.
“Vivo is positioning itself as premium smartphone brand which may not be the price warrior as Chinese brands are conceived to be, but on as a value-for-money proposition. Hence, it is focusing more on offline retail to show users the product, build consumer experience and in that it seems to be following a much more stronger long-term business model,” a senior executive said.
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