According to reports, the popular fantasy gaming platform Dream11 has reportedly taken over as the main jersey sponsor for the Indian cricket team from July 2023 to March 2026, replacing Byju’s. The deal was reportedly secured at a base price of Rs 358 crore. Byju’s had become the principal sponsor in 2019 after the smartphone brand Oppo decided to transfer the remaining period of its sponsorship term, having been associated with Team India for two and a half years.
In March 2022, Byju’s extended its jersey sponsorship deal with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) until the end of 2023 for a sum of $55 million. It quit after the end of the last financial cycle and reports say that BCCI invited closed bids for new sponsors on June 14. Dream11 was one of the major bidders. The Indian men’s cricket team has been without a jersey sponsor ever since Byju’s exit. In case of principal jersey sponsors, the money given for every bilateral fixture where the sponsors name is in the middle of the shirt is three times more compared to what it pays for an ICC fixture where the centre of the jersey carries the country name and sponsors logo doesn’t get a vantage positioning.
From Wills and ITC to Dream11
Wills and ITC were the sponsors of the jerseys for close to a decade in the 90s before Sahara came on board and remained for the longest time. The group led by Subrata Roy sponsored the jerseys between 2002 and 2013 before monetisation of cricket entered a very competitive space and saw Star India on the team jerseys between 2014 and 2017.
Next, OPPO and Vivo, the two Chinese phone manufacturing companies, were up against each other for the next cycle and OPPO outbid Vivo for the 2017-2022 cycle. Next was ed-tech start-up Byju’s which took over midway through OPPO’s five-year cycle and a signed a contract which ran until November 2022.
The market conditions prompted Byju’s to not continue with the deal and since then Team India has been without a jersey sponsor. The wait will now end with Dream 11 coming on board. The fantasy gaming platform, which is growing at a rapid pace, was the title sponsor of IPL 2020 in the past and continues to have many active cricketers on board as promoters of the platform.