Dream11 extends deal with Super Smash, IPL sponsorship still uncertain

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Fantasy gaming platform Dream11 signed an extension agreement with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) as a title sponsor and naming rights partner of their domestic T20 men’s and women’s Super Smash competition. Meanwhile, the fate of sponsoring the cash-rich T20 cricket IPL 2021 still hangs in limbo as the Indian Board remains uncertain about its plans in title sponsor.

The NZ governing body signed a one-year deal with the Mumbai-based firm in October 2019 for the naming rights of the Super Smash Cricket 2021 which has now been expanded until 2026. “Our previous arrangement was a massive success, so it’s great to be announcing a deeper, long-term partnership with Dream11,” NZC Chief Executive, David White, said in a statement.

“The current agreement builds on our previous partnership and takes it to the next level. We are equally excited to become an Official Partner of NZC and bring New Zealand’s unique cricketing experience to Dream11’s 100 million users,” Vikrant Mudaliar, Chief Marketing Officer of Dream11. We are confident that this will further drive interest and fan engagement for NZC matches among Indian sports fans.”

Latest cricket news: IPL 2021 auction likely to happen without sponsor as Dream11, VIVO still uncertain

Founded in 2008 by Harsh Jain (CEO) and Bhavit Sheth (COO), Mumbai-based Dream11 has over 80 million users and is the first gaming startup from India to reach the unicorn status, an industry term for startups valued above $1 billion. Dream11’s cricket portfolio already includes the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, and the Big Bash League (BBL).

In 2018, Dream 11 announced tie-ups with the International Cricket Council, Pro Kabaddi League, International Hockey Federation and Big Bash League, offering fantasy leagues on their flagship tournaments. The overall Indian revenue from fantasy gaming rose from Rs 920 crore in March 2019 to Rs 2,470 crore in 12 months, according to the reports.

Meanwhile, neither the IPL’s official website nor any of the IPL’s press releases carries Dream11 name or logo anymore. Earlier, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said that they are open to make a new deal with VIVO as title sponsor for IPL 2021, who acquired the title sponsorship rights for the T20 league in 2018 for INR 440 crore per year for five seasons.

However, Vivo Communication Technology Co’s withdrew from sponsoring the IPL 13 last year due to the negative publicity it has gained over the last few weeks amid the Indo-China tension on the border. Fantasy sports platform Dream11 emerged in the race to bag the cash-rich tournament sponsorship. Dream11 became the title sponsor of the IPL 2020 following the Rs 222 crore for the 4.5-month deal.

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