NEW DELHI: Sports apparel companies Adidas and Puma are set for a head on battle to gain the rights to become Team India’s next kit sponsors as Nike’s 14-year deal with the ‘Men in Blue’ comes to an end in September 2020.
“Adidas and Puma have shown interest in becoming Team India’s kit sponsors. The entire process will be transparent and any deal that will be done will be in the interest of Indian cricket. This apart from Dream XI could also be a player,” a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) functionary told IANS.
As per reports, Nike coughed up around Rs 370 crores to renew the kit sponsorship with the Indian team in 2016 that will finish on September 30 this year. It is believed that they paid around Rs 87,34,000 per game.
However, in the current market scenario put forward by coronavirus pandemic, it was unlikely that Nike would be willing to put pen to paper on a similar high-budget deal. The BCCI, therefore floated a tender so that the other companies could also get a fair chance and whomsoever comes up with the better deal would get the nod.
“Once the current contract ends, issuing tender will be the way forward unless Nike decides to continue paying the same rights value and provided the board is also okay with that idea,” a BCCI source had earlier told IANS.
“If Nike talks about a cut due to the current situation, then it will be a case of playing fair and allowing the ones who offer the best deal to have the rights to be the kit sponsors of the Indian cricket team. Any other arrangement will not be palatable especially in the background of the challenges of quality that have emerged from time to time,” the source had pointed.
Adidas and Puma both have a huge fan base in India with the latter enjoying new lease of life following deals with India skipper Virat Kohli and batsman KL Rahul. As for Adidas, they remains one of the biggest names worldwide as far as sports apparel and footwear is concerned and their immense reach is something that cannot be discounted for. Not to forget that India’s limited-overs deputy Rohit Sharma is associated with Adidas.