New Delhi: VIVO, a Chinese cell phone maker, had to pull out of Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) sponsorship amid the India-China political tensions.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) then had to look out for new title sponsor, mainly Indian, for IPL 2020 and it ended with home-grown brand Dream11.
The Dream11 is a fantasy sports platform which offers cricket, hockey, football, kabaddi and basketball.
The platform, founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, has over 8 crore users.
Dream11 won the IPL 2020 sponsorship rights for Rs 222 crores for a period of four and a half months.
However, Dream11 has a Chinese investor on board, and that doesn't make BCCI's new deal 'China-free' as it was aiming for.
Dream11 is valued above $1 billion and is backed by investors like Steadview, Kalaari Capital, Think Investments, Multiples Equity and Tencent.
Among these, Tencent is a Chinese firm, but it owns under 10 percent stake. So, the Chinese connection in IPL 2020 title sponsorship stays but Dream11, on the whole, is an Indian brand.
Dream11 is already associated with BCCI as the 'Official Fantasy Game' of the IPL.
Dream11 has been associated with ICC (International Cricket Council), Pro Kabaddi League, International Hockey Federation (FIH), WBBL and BBL and New Zealand's Super Smash.
Former Indian captain, MS Dhoni, who recently retired from international cricket, is its brand ambassador.