The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that leading fantasy gaming platform Dream11 will be the new title sponsor for the 2020 Indian Premier League.
Dream11 replaced Vivo as the title sponsor after the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, through mutual consent with the BCCI, suspended the deal for IPL 2020.
According to IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, the alliance with Dream11, which boasts a user base of more than 100 million, will boost fan engagement and their involvement with IPL.
“Dream11 as a fantasy sports brand will only grow the engagement of the IPL with its fans,” he reckoned.
“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,” he added.
The Mumbai-based fantasy gaming platform has steadily increased its stronghold in the sporting world with partnerships with 19 sports leagues along with six Indian Premier League franchises.
Interestingly, Dream11 was founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in 2008, the inaugural year of the Indian Premier League.
“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 and skill,” said Harsh Jain, co-founder of Dream11.
Last year, Dream11 had signed another deal with the BCCI to become the ‘Official Partner’ of IPL for a period of four years, powering the ‘Official Fantasy Game’ of the league.
“We are happy to continue building our partnership with BCCI and IPL to further promote sports fan engagement in India, and look forward to 10 crore-plus Indians making their Dream11 for every Dream11 IPL match,” added Jain.
The current title rights of IPL 2020 were reportedly bagged by Dream11 for INR 220 crore, which is considerably less than Vivo’s deal of INR 438 crore for a season.
As per reports, Vivo had withdrawn from the partnership citing substandard business environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing anti-China sentiment in India.
It remains to be seen whether Dream11 will continue as the title sponsor for the next season or Vivo will return at the helm.
The 2020 Indian Premier League is set to commence on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the final to be played on November 10.