A unfilled advertising spot is unusual in Indian cricket, but the board’s consensus is to avoid low-key stop-gap partnerships.
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 maximisation is the norm, this is unusual. Due to unfavourable 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 bids inviting parties to a long-term affiliation, but they haven’t done so since 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 crore for each ICC match and 4.6 crore 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 can find the proper partners in time for the home global Cup in October–November given their recent five-year deal with Adidas and the current busy ICC calendar, which includes a white-ball global tournament every year.
However, it would be unusual to see Indian cricket players compete with 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.