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BCCI launches kit tender as Nike balks at repeat price

(Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has invited bids for the kit sponsor and official merchandising partner rights to the Indian national cricket team.

Under the invitation to tender, the winning bidder will be granted the right to be the governing body’s kit sponsor and/or the official merchandising partner along with various other associated rights.

The terms and conditions governing the submission and evaluation of bids, including eligibility requirements and performance obligations, will be made available for a fee from today until August 26.

The tender has been issued just weeks after the current kit maker Nike said it was not ready to commit to its current spend for the next sponsorship cycle because of the negative economic outlook driven  by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nike renewed its kit sponsorship with the Indian cricket team in January 2016 in an agreement that will finish on September 30, 2020.

The five-year deal was worth around $5.75m (€4.9m) per year, industry sources told SportBusiness Sponsorship at the time, about 15 per cent more than the previous Nike contract valued at about $5.1m per year, also over five years.

According to Vinit Karnik, business head of entertainment, sports & live events at the GroupM agency, the current BCCI deal gave Nike an important asset to use against the superior distribution network of adidas in the country.

“Although there is now interest in multiple sports in India, cricket is still the biggest sport. In terms of brand building, the partnership with the Indian cricket team can sustain a sports brand across a big country like India,” he told SportBusiness Sponsorship at the time of the last deal.

It is not yet clear which brands will bid for the rights, however both Adidas and Puma were interested in the rights in 2015.