BCCI Grants IPL 2020 Title Sponsorship To Fantasy Cricket App Dream 11, Controversy Over Decision To Forgo Tata’s Offer

Dream11-IPL logo

Dream11, the fantasy cricket app has won the title sponsorship rights for IPL 2020 for Rs222 crore, by bidding more than competitors like Tatasons(Rs180 crore), Byju’s(Rs 125 crore) and Unacademy(Rs 210 crore).



Dream11 has won the race for IPL 2020 title sponsorship rights, the tournament’s chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed on Wednesday. The online fantasy gaming application won the title rights for Rs. 222 crores.

India’s leading fantasy gaming app Dream11 will be the title sponsor of the 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), the tournament which is scheduled to start from September 19th in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


The IPL title rights were up for grab after Vivo dropped out as title sponsor


The reported departure of Chinese mobile-maker as the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 13 is set to have a big financial impact, not just on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) but also on the franchises. The BCCI had a lucrative deal with VIVO that saw them earn INR 440 crore every year but the Indo-China face-off across the LAC, as well as the negative publicity of the smartphone brand, reportedly saw VIVO withdraw its name as IPL sponsor this season.

The mobile-brand retained the IPL title sponsorship back in 2017 with a bid of INR 2199 crore for five seasons (2018-2022). The new financial terms saw the BCCI witness a whopping 454% jump as compared to the previous title sponsorship cycle (2012-17) was concerned.

In its EoI document, the board stipulated that a bidder should have posted a minimum turnover of Rs 300 crore in the last financial year.

The board had clarified that the highest bid will not necessarily be the winner, but will depend on the impact the winning company will have on the league’s brand value. However, in this case, Dream11 was the highest bidder.

Dream11’s growth after joining hands with IPL

Dream11's growth

Dream11 was co-founded by Harsh Jain and BhavitSheth in 2008. In 2012, they introduced freemium fantasy sports in India for cricket fans.

Dream11 is a fantasy sports platform based in India that allows users to play fantasy cricket, hockey, football, kabaddi and basketball. In April 2019, Dream11 became the first Indian gaming company to enter the ‘Unicorn Club’.

For the fantasy gaming startup Dream11, IPL has always been its money-making machine.Dream11 raised its first round of funding in 2014 when it had just 300,000 users. But thanks to the popularity of the IPL, today they have over 75 million users.

In fact, after signing former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni as their brand ambassador, just during the 2018 IPL their user base went from 20 million to 40 million. Their initial 10 million users were dominated by Tier 1 cities but now 50% of their traffic comes from Tier 2,3 and 4 cities.

Until 2019, Dream11 claimed that its user base grew at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 230% over three years

Dream11 is already a big spender on cricket. They are associated with at least six IPL teams and also with the International Cricket Council. With IPL coming up, Dream11 aims to rake in the moolah due to the return of live cricket.

Did BCCI choose money over credibility?


According to the reports, the Tata group was leading the title sponsorship race, until the results were announced.

According to brand experts a legacy firm, such as Tata Sons, would have added positive value and an element of nationalist pride to the homegrown tournament as opposed to startups, having low brand equity due to foreign investments.

“Tata Group with a diverse set of interests in various categories is a legacy firm. The best among equals would have been Tata Sons, as all companies were willing to pay more than ₹200 crores, also Tata being a non-controversial brand would have been a better option, apart from this it has heritage, a squeaky clean image and size to its advantage”.

Others in the race were Jio and Patanjali Ayurveda, alongside Edu-tech start-ups such asUnacademy and Byju’s. All the companies submitted the expression of interest (EOI) with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.


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