Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo has decided to walk out of two more major title sponsorship deals — the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) and the ‘Bigg Boss’ reality show — after parting ways with the cricket board for the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League, people in the know said.

Vivo’s deal for PKL was worth `60 crore per year, while it paid the Viacom18-owned Colors channel Rs 30 crore for Bigg Boss a season.

“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, and will focus on selling products via more retail discount and commissions,” said a person directly involved with the deal.
Vivo had signed a five-year deal in 2017 with Star India, valued at around Rs 300 crore, for the PKL title sponsorship. While the 2020 edition of the league was cancelled, sources said Vivo had informed Star India of its intention to terminate the deal.

The phone maker had signed a two-year deal with Colors in 2019 for about Rs 60 crore. The 2020 edition of Bigg Boss, the channel’s flagship property, is slated to launch in October, directly competing with IPL this year.

Email queries sent to Vivo India, Star India and Viacom18 remained unanswered till press time Thursday.

Vivo has become one of the largest advertisers in India, courtesy its Rs 2,190 crore IPL title sponsorship deal with the BCCI. The company spends more than Rs 1,000 crore annually on marketing and promotions, which include Rs 440 crore to the BCCI and an additional Rs 120-150 crore during the IPL.

After the IPL was pushed to September and out of India, Vivo, which was already facing heat over its Chinese origin and anti-China sentiments in India, decided to sit out of the 13th edition of the IPL.

In a one-line statement, the BCCI and Vivo Mobile India said on Thursday that they had mutually decided to “pause” their partnership for the 2020 season of the IPL.

“Vivo has realised that by not advertising, but offering better discounts, it will sell more phones rather than by advertising, which will attract public ire,” said another person close to the development.

It could not be ascertained if Vivo will also pull out as the presenting sponsor of IPL on Star Sports, but sources said a decision was yet to be taken on that.


News Source: Economic Times


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