BYJU’S, MPL To Exit BCCI Sponsorship Deals


BCCI received the request from BYJU’S in November, while MPL requested a transfer of assignment to KKCL in December

Both the startups have been asked by the BCCI to stay on board till March 31, 2023, following which they can exit the agreements

BYJU’S had only extended its jersey sponsorship agreement with the BCCI in June this year till November 2023 for a reported $35 Mn

Edtech major BYJU’S and fantasy sports unicorn MPL are reportedly looking to exit their sponsorship agreements with India’s top cricket body BCCI. Specifically, the two unicorns want to exit their sponsorship agreements for jersey and merchandising, respectively.

BYJU’S had only extended its jersey sponsorship agreement with the BCCI in June this year till November 2023 for a reported $35 Mn. Incidentally, the development comes a week after it was widely reported in the media that the edtech major is looking to exit its jersey sponsorship deal with the BCCI.

Last week, it was reported that the cricket board would hold an Apex Council meeting, which concluded this Wednesday (December 20) to decide on BYJU’S request.

For now, the BCCI has asked the edtech major to stay on until at least March 2023. According to a BCCI note cited by a Mint report, the BCCI received an email from the edtech major on November 4.

On the other hand, fantasy sports unicorn MPL has also asked the BCCI to assign the team kit and merchandise rights to Kewal Kiran Clothing Limited (KKCL). The unicorn replaced Nike as the Indian Cricket Team’s kit and merchandise sponsor back in 2020, with the contract being valid till December 31, 2023.

The aforementioned note mentioned that the BCCI received the request from MPL on December 2, requesting a full assignment for the calendar year 2023. However, the BCCI also asked MPL to continue till March 31, 2023, the same as BYJU’S, citing the upcoming home series and the women’s team’s away calendar. 

The apex cricket body has also given MPL the option to either continue the association till March 31, 2023 or to look for a partial assignment that would involve only the right chest logo but not the kit manufacturing agreement. Right now, MPL also manufactures Indian Cricket Team’s jerseys, kits and performance equipment.

The relationship between cricket and Indian startups has seen multiple highs and lows over the last year. Earlier this year, we reported that as many as 29 startups had various agreements with IPL teams, with Tata sponsoring the domestic cricket league. 

Since then, startups have been exiting the cricket sponsorship agreements, having been hit with a funding crunch. The trend has started with the Indian Cricket Team, for now, with Paytm transferring the title sponsorship rights to Mastercard earlier this year.

For BYJU’S and MPL, the exit comes after both the unicorns have laid people off this year, with the former firing 2,500 employees and the latter firing 100, according to Inc42’s ‘Indian Startup Layoff Tracker’.

The edtech decacorn was also a sponsor at the recently-concluded FIFA World Cup 2022. BYJU’S also signed up the eventual champions Argentina’s captain Lionel Messi as an ambassador, a move which was widely criticised as it came as the edtech major fired thousands of employees.

MPL, on the other hand, had a sponsorship deal with the IPL outfit Royal Challengers Bengaluru for the 2022 edition.

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