Officially acknowledging on Tuesday that Dream11 has won the title sponsorship rights for the upcoming Indian Premier League, Harsh Jain, CEO & Co-Founder, Dream Sports (Dream11), said that the company is “a proud homegrown Indian brand that is made in India, by Indians and exclusively for Indian sports fans”.
Jain also said in his statement that the launch of the IPL in 2008 gave birth to the idea of the fantasy gaming platform Dream11. Dream11, a part of the sports technology company Dream Sports, has been IPL’s associate sponsor for the last two years.
Brijesh Patel, IPL governing council chairman, had confirmed to BusinessLine yesterday that Dream11 won the rights for ₹222 crore, at less than nearly 50 per cent of what Vivo would have paid for the title sponsorship rights. He also said that Byju’s had submitted a bid for ₹201 crore and Unacademy for ₹171 crore. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had invited Expression of Interest (EOI) by August 14 for this year’s title sponsorship after Vivo pulled out of the sponsorship race. Vivo and BCCI did not state any reasons for severing their ties. But, the Chinese mobile maker had come under fire amid the anti-China sentiments post the India-China standoff at the border. Vivo had won the IPL title sponsorship rights for five years from 2018 to 2022 for ₹2,190 crore, which amounts to about ₹440 per annum.
“The launch of IPL in 2008 gave birth to the idea of Dream11. As avid sports fans, we wanted to offer fantasy cricket to IPL fans to help them further engage with the sport they love and showcase their sports knowledge & skill. Being a proud homegrown Indian brand that is made in India, by Indians and exclusively for Indian sports fans, we would like to thank the BCCI for giving us an opportunity to become the Title Sponsor of IPL, which in our opinion is the world’s greatest sports property. We believe that ‘Dream11 IPL’ also perfectly defines what IPL is all about: every team fielding its Dream11 team culminating in the IPL finals determining The Dream11. We are happy to continue building our partnership with BCCI & IPL to further promote sports fan engagement in India, and look forward to 10 crore+ Indians making their Dream11 for every Dream11 IPL match,” said Jain in a statement.
Dream11’s association with sports has grown over the years, and it is presently partnering a total of 19 sports leagues along with 6 Indian Premier League Franchises, the statement said.
“We welcome Dream11 on board as Title Sponsor for the 2020 edition of the IPL. Dream11 upgrading their association from an Official Partner to Title Sponsors is a great testament to the brand IPL. Dream11, as a fantasy sports brand will only grow the engagement of the IPL with its fans. As a digital brand, it will give them leverage to create exciting online engagement for fans sitting at home and watching the matches. We look forward to delivering great value to Dream11,” said Patel.
The 13th IPL will be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.
Meanwhile, traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Wednesday wrote to the BCCI, raising objections over Dream11 reportedly having stakeholders from China.
In a letter to BCCI president Saurav Ganguly, CAIT said: “We are deeply pained to note that now Dream 11 has been chosen as a sponsor of IPL 2020 which has Chinese company Tencent Global as one of the major stakeholders.”
“We are of the considered opinion that awarding sponsorship to Dream 11 is nothing but a bypass route to neglect the sentiments and feelings prevailing among the people of India against China for its regular attempts to invade the interests of India,” said CAIT, which is leading the campaign to boycott Chinese goods.
The Mumbai-based Dream Sports India also has brands such as FanCode, DreamSetGo and DreamX in its portfolio. Founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, Dream Sports counts Kalaari Capital, Think Investments, Multiples Equity, Tencent and Steadview Capital as its marquee investors. Chinese investor Tencent owns minority shares in the company.