Indian cricket might part ways with Nike logo after 14 years

Indian Cricket Jersey
BCCI are in a contract renewal war with Nike

The Indian cricket team might soon part ways with Nike, kit partner for 14 years now after BCCI has gotten involved in a contract renewal war with the sportswear brand. Nike is one of the oldest partners of the BCCI but their current deal as ‘kit partner’ is ending in September.

With their current deal with sportswear brand Nike ending in September, BCCI might is letting go of one of their oldest partnerships. Nike’s partnership with the Indian cricket board began in 2006 and maintained a 14-year long affair since. However, the BCCI was now involved in a contract renewal war with the brand. The tussle came at a time when the board was already under pressure to revisit its sponsorship deals with Chinese partners-Vivo. Consequently, BCCI might bear losses worth of 440 crores. As part of the deal, Nike has been supplying apparel, footwear, and other merchandise to team India free of cost.

“Nike’s current deal as ‘kit partner’ of the BCCI is ending in September. It was a four-year deal worth Rs 370 crore, which included Rs 85 lakh per match fee and a royalty of over Rs 30 crore to the board. Nike’s business has greatly suffered during the lockdown and it is seeking an extension for lost time at a discount. The board may not agree and we may have to come up with tender for the position,” said a top source in the BCCI, as quoted by ET.

“Knowing the BCCI, I doubt they will agree to a contract extension or even a discount. The BCCI should not play hardball now or they will see risk alienating sponsors who are in dire straits due to the economic slump,”  said a sports marketing expert, who has dealt with the board in the past, as quoted by ET.

Meanwhile, a co-founder at sports marketing firm Baseline Ventures, R Ramakrishnan stated that this was the right time for the brands to bargain and get the best deals. Ramakrishnan suggested one way of reassuring the sponsors would be to extend the contract equivalent to the amount of lost time or compensate it in the next tenure.

“Globally, as live sports have come to a grinding halt, constant discussions have taken place between governing bodies, leagues, and franchisees about the lost time for sponsors. Preserving and extending these partnerships should be the main objective right now,” Ramakrishnan told ET.