IPL title sponsorship: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved is reportedly considering bidding for the Indian Premier League (IPL) title sponsorship slot, which was vacated by Chinese smartphone maker Vivo.“We are considering the IPL title sponsorship for this year since we want to give the Patanjali brand a global marketing platform,” Patanjali spokesperson SK Tijarawala told Economic Times, adding Patanjali is considering making a proposal to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). However, market watchers said that while Patanjali comes with the rub-off of being a staunch nationalistic brand replacing a Chinese one, it lacks the star power of a multinational or a heavily-invested unicorn brand.

The move would help the Haridwar-based firm access a global marketing platform, as Patanjali is focusing on exports for its Ayurveda-based FMCG products. Confirming the development, Patanjali spokesperson S K Tijarawala told PTI: “We are considering this”. “This is for Vocal For Local and making one Indian brand as global, this is the right platform. We are considering into that perspective,” he said. However, Tijarawala also added that the company is yet to take a final call on the issue. “We have to take a final decision, whether we would take it or not,” Tijarawala added. According to him, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is coming with the expression of interest on Monday and it has to submit its proposal by August 14.

Last week, BCCI and Vivo decided to suspend their partnership for the 2020 IPL beginning on September 19, in the UAE, amid clamor to boycott Chinese products in the wake of the Sino-India border stand-off.  The title sponsorship is a significant part of the IPL’s commercial revenue, half of which is shared equally by the franchises.

Vivo won the IPL title sponsorship rights for five years from 2018 to 2022 for a reported sum of Rs 2,190 crore, approximately Rs 440 crore per annum. The Haridwar-based Patanjali group has an estimated turnover of around Rs 10,500 crores. It had acquired debt-ridden Ruchi Soya in a corporate insolvency resolution process for around Rs 4,350 crore after competing with Adani Group.

Patanjali Ayurved had reported a revenue of Rs 8,329 crore in FY 2018-19. However overall the group’s turnover was much higher as Patanjali Ayurved consists of mainly its FMCG business and its Ayurvedic medicines.

However, Patanjali has to face steep competition for getting IPL title sponsorship as brands like Jio, Amazon, the Tata group, Dream11, Adani group, and education start-up Byjus have reportedly been bidding for the IPL sponsorship title. The Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved, which sells a range of grocery products including toothpaste, honey, and noodles in the Ayurveda and natural products space, has been losing ground in large categories like biscuits and noodles over the past two years, owing to trade disruptions and allegedly inconsistent quality from time to time.