Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo is set to pull plug on sponsorship of the Pro Kabaddi League, just a day after it agreed with the BCCI to suspend its sponsorship of the Indian Premier League for the upcoming season, The Economic Times reported.
“Vivo has decided to lie low amid all the negative publicity the brand was generating since the India–China clash on the border. The company has decided to pull out of all the major deals, at least for this year. Vivo will now focus on selling products via more retail discount and commissions,” a person involved with the deal told The Economic Times.
Vivo had signed a five-year deal with Star India worth Rs 300 crore but have now informed Star India of their intention to terminate the deal.
The media rights of the league are also likely to go for auction later this year after the franchises rejected Star India’s revenue-sharing offer, The Economic Times had reported.
The Pro Kabaddi franchises have asked for a fair and impartial auction in case existing rights holder Star India doesn’t come up with a better offer.
“We all have asked Mashal Sport to conduct an auction with no ‘Right to Match’ to Star, just like the IPL auctions. There is a lot of value in PKL and Star’s ownership of Mashal Sport is a major conflict of interest,” said one of the owners of the franchise.
According to the report, Star India has offered franchise Rs 14-15 crore per year to each franchise as a share from media rights for the next five years, but the franchises were demanding Rs 22 crore per year.
The 2020 season of the Pro Kabaddi was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.