By Baidurjo Bhose
New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) The name Nike has been synonymous with the Indian cricket teams kit since 2006. But the 14-year relationship might end with the current deal that finishes in September 2020 as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may float tenders for kit sponsorship rights once the current partnership ends in a few months.
Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that in the current market scenario, it was only fair that the Indian board would look to issue tenders to see a fair battle for the rights unless Nike and BCCI agree to extend the current deal on the same terms and conditions. The source clarified that any talk of a reduction would definitely see tenders being issued.
“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. 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 pointed.
“As far as I know, the office bearers are very particular about propriety and they would not be interested in a decision that would undermine the interests of the BCCI.”
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 pay around Rs 87,34,000 per game.
While it has been mostly a happy journey, there were two times when the quality of kits manufactured by the sportswear brand came in for heavy criticism.
During the 2015 tour of Bangladesh, the Indian players under Virat Kohli had been handed black and fluorescent green training jerseys which not only had the players huffing and puffing due to the heat it generated. But they also allegedly that the jerseys were shrinking after being washed.
Again in August 2017, the Indian players raised the issue of the quality of material being used in manufacturing the jerseys and the BCCI had a word with Nike on the same.