The Effect of Sponsoring The Indian Cricket Team

The companies that have sponsored the Indian Cricket Team haven’t had the best of days ahead. In this article, we will look at all the major sponsors of India.

Sponsoring the Indian Cricket Team is a big thing as it helps the company to showcase itself on the global stage given the brand value that the team holds. Having said that the companies that have sponsored the Indian Cricket team haven’t had the best of days ahead.

In this article, we will look at all the major sponsors of India since 1993.

The Effect of Sponsoring the Indian Cricket Team


Wills (1993–2000): 

Let’s examine the situation of Wills, who, in the early 1990s after liberalization, became the first sponsor of India’s men’s cricket jersey. Wills became the official sponsor of the Indian cricket team after the team played without a sponsor during the 1992 World Cup.

Wills had so much influence in the early 1990s that, following Benson and Hedges in 1992, they were the only other tobacco brand to sponsor the whole Cricket World Cup in 1996! The Cricket World Cup had a variety of sponsors before the International Cricket Council (ICC) took over in 1999. These included insurance companies Prudential and tobacco brands Wills and Benson & Hedges!

As regulations governing surrogate advertising tightened, Wills was forced to sever ties even though they had multiple retail locations and authentic apparel. Surprisingly, this sponsor wasn’t damaged throughout their tenure with the team.

Sahara (2001-2013):

Several businesses, including Coca-Cola and ITC, dabbled with sponsoring the Indian cricket team before Sahara got involved. However, until Sahara entered the picture in 2001, no significant influence was exerted.

Sahara India became involved as a sponsor in 2001, coinciding with the extraordinary rise of its patron, Subrata Roy, or “Saharashri.” The sponsorship gained appeal from this dynamic duo. In addition to cricket, Sahara briefly sponsored Bangladesh’s cricket squad and hockey teams. Over ten years ago, Sahara was not only an identity embossed with the Indian cricket team but a sponsor.

Sahara ventured into other professional sports outside of cricket, such as purchasing an IPL team and being the official sponsor of the Force India Formula 1 racing team. Regrettably, accusations against Subrata Roy’s finances that broke in 2013 destroyed the partnership’s once-promising voyage.

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Star India ( 2014-2017):

For a very long time, the Indian cricket team was sponsored by Star India, a significant media corporation. But after Disney acquired Star India, everything was different. It happened in the same year that Disney bought Fox Star.

Following that, Star India lost its broadcasting rights for the Indian Premier League(IPL) without assistance. This impacted Star’s financial situation and its sponsorship of the Indian cricket team. Things became worse when Jio entered the streaming league. Disney is considering selling Star India permanently at this time.

Oppo (2017–2019):

China dabbled in Indian sports as well. Li Ning backed our Olympic team, Vivo sponsored the Indian Premier League, and in a deal with the BCCI, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo became the official sponsor of the Indian cricket team. However, the company started making a loss after some time and to add to that India’s sour relationship with China resulted in the BCCI’s decision to not renew the partnership.

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BYJUS (2019–2023):

Byju’s, an edtech company, acquired Oppo in 2019 for $35 million. If you examine BYJUs and Sahara attentively about the sponsorship of the Indian cricket team, you will see that their trajectories have been nearly identical.

But even BYJUs could not last as long as the Sahara. Its decline was more severe and sorrowful than Sahara’s. Layoffs may have been necessary due to budgetary restrictions, but it is noteworthy when a corporation spends large amounts of money—roughly $5–7 million per year—to recruit Lionel Messi to serve as the face of its social impact division, Education for All. Yes, for BYJUs, the often-quoted statement that “Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned” came true. Still, even the picture of Messi was unable to turn around BYJUs’ declining fortunes.

After that, Byju’s opted not to renew the sponsorship deal because of their ongoing losses. Byju’s is now dealing with several issues, such as the resignation of three board members and auditors as well as considerable delays in financial reporting. The government’s upcoming inquiries haven’t even started yet!

Dream 11 (2023-Present):

Dream11, a fantasy sports platform, entered the sponsorship market by obtaining the Indian Premier League’s title sponsorship rights and the Indian cricket team’s jersey sponsorship rights. But right after the deal government imposed a 28% tax on skill-based gaming platforms which has been causing a lot of cash crunch for the company. Having said that Dream 11 continues to fulfill its commitments with the Indian board.