Indian fantasy gaming company Dream11 has replaced Vivo as the lead sponsor of the forthcoming Indian Premier League season following its winning bid of almost $30 million (INR 222 crores).
The four-month deal finalised between Dream11 and the IPL authorities trumped separate bids from local educational firms Byju's and Unacademy.
Dream11 was already among the IPL's minor sponsors but has now earned a promotion to the top amid the backdrop of Vivo's withdrawal.
Consumer electronics giant Vivo had acquired the lucrative tournament's sponsorship rights for $330 million for a five-year deal lasting till 2022.
However, the China-based company's contractual agreement was dumped due to rising border tensions amongst India and China.
Although initial reports suggested Vivo was likely to stay on as the main sponsor this year, impassioned political rhetoric in India caused the IPL organisers to concede to their demands.
The anti-China sentiment in the country has even seen the Indian government ban dozens of smartphone apps including the popular video-sharing platform TikTok.
In accordance with the revenue-sharing agreement between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL franchises, the teams get 50% of the income received from selling the central rights.
The profits shared this time would thus approximately be half the value promised by Vivo had it remained the title sponsor.
Dream11 is also partly owned by China's Tencent but the Times of India reported the BCCI clarifying that the firm's investment is "negligible" and could soon be resolved internally.
This year's IPL will take place in its entirety in the UAE given the alarming coronavirus situation in India at the moment. The first match of the tournament will be held on September 19 as teams are preparing to gather in the Arab nation and to train in bio-secure bubbles.