The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has significantly reduced the base price in its search for a new main sponsor, but has denied the move is undervaluing the Indian national team brand.
The governing body is seeking a new main partner after business conglomerate Sahara announced in May that it would not renew its sponsorship of the national team at the end of this year.
The Times of India newspaper said that the BCCI had been forced to slash Team India’s sponsorship base price for each Test, one-day international and Twenty20 match to Rs15m (€180,000/$244,000) from Rs25m.
The sponsorship rights are being sold for the period spanning January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017.
A senior governing body official told the newspaper: “This is a move to attract more sponsors when the bidding happens, but the team logo sponsorship is not being undervalued at all.”
The official team sponsorship includes the rights for a company to display its logo on the clothing of India’s senior team, ‘A’ team, Under-19 men’s team and the women’s team.
Sahara’s decision to end its partnership came with a stinging attack on the BCCI. Sahara criticised the conduct of the governing body as it also announced that it would immediately withdraw its Pune Warriors franchise from the Indian Premier League, the Twenty20 competition that is operated by the BCCI.
Sahara has been the main sponsor of Indian cricket for 13 years and signed a renewed agreement with the governing body through to the end of 2013 in July 2010.
However, the partnership has become increasingly turbulent in recent years, and in February 2012 Sahara made the shock decision to terminate its sponsorship of the national team and withdraw its financial backing of the Warriors, only to reach a peace deal with the board later that month.