RCB signs Qatar Airways as title sponsor


MUMBAI/NEW DELHI : Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the Diageo-owned Bengaluru franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL), has signed Qatar Airways as its title sponsor for three years in a 75 crore deal. According to a person aware of the deal, this is the second-largest deal in the history of IPL sponsorships.

Qatar Airways, which recently signed Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone as its global brand ambassador, will replace non-bank lender Muthoot FinCorp, as the main sponsor of the team. As part of the deal, the airline’s logo will appear on the front of the RCB players’ jerseys.

“The deal has been signed, and the announcement will be made in a couple of weeks,” the person cited above said on the condition of anonymity. “It’s worth 75 crore for three years, the biggest deal for RCB ever.”

In 2022, Reliance-owned Mumbai Indians signed a similar three-year deal with Slice, a fintech company worth over 90 crore. Prior to the Slice deal, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the TVS Group’s Eurogrip had signed a 70 crore-plus deal for three years.

RCB and Qatar Airways did not respond to Mint’s queries till press time. “It is heartening to see that more and more international brands are acknowledging the value of an Indian tournament. This will make other global brands also partner with IPL – either with the teams or with the IPL overall — which will be a good sign for the entire ecosystem,” the person quoted above added.

The sponsorship revenue for various franchises this season is expected to be in the range of 70-120 crore on the basis of their brand value, fan following and popularity.

Some of the global brands partnered with the IPL teams include Samsung, which had a title sponsorship deal with the Mumbai Indians.

Last year, Saudi Aramco signed a deal with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and joined as the Orange and Purple Cap partner for the IPL. The deal is valued at around 65 crore annually. Earlier this year, Saudi Tourism Authority replaced Unacademy as the official partner of the IPL. For franchises, team sponsorship is the second largest revenue stream, after their share in the IPL’s central revenue pool. As per the franchise agreement, BCCI keeps 50% of the revenues earned from the media rights and ground sponsorships while putting 45% in the central revenue pool, to be divided equally among all the teams. The remaining 5% is then distributed among the winners. In the current rights cycle (2023-2027), BCCI will broadcast about 410 matches for which it has sold the media rights for 48,390 crore. Viacom18 outbid rival Disney Star in 2022 to pick up the 5-year digital rights of the IPL with a bid of 23,757.5 crore, while the latter retained TV rights for 23,575 crore.


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