Chinese smartphone brand Oppo will stand down from its role as main sponsor of India’s national cricket team next year, according to reports.
In an article at Inside Sport, a source privy to Oppo’s plans in India said the smartphone brand is preparing to offload the partnership to a new sponsor.
The source said Oppo has approached the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for permission to pass on the contract to another brand.
An unnamed digital tech brand – which is already a leading sponsor in Indian cricket – is said to have agreed in principle to replace Oppo as national-team sponsor.
Oppo signed a five-year deal as India’s lead partner in 2017, for a reported fee of ₹1,079 crore (€140m/$157m). It outbid rival Chinese smartphone brand Vivo, which offered ₹768 crore.
The Oppo deal is comfortably the BCCI’s biggest ever sponsorship in financial terms, surpassing former lead partners Star Sports TV network and finance and infrastructure group Sahara India Parawar.
As reported by Inside Sport, Oppo’s contract with the BCCI runs until 2021 and includes strict penalties for breach of contract, but Oppo can exit at no extra cost if it can find a replacement brand on similar or more favourable terms for the BCCI.