A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: DLF no longer to sponsor IPL

Fans will never see this IPL logo again

India’s largest real estate company DLF Ltd has announced that they will no longer be sponsoring the Indian Premier League (IPL), bringing an end to the five-year association it had with the Twenty20 tournament.

The company refused to sign a new contract due to a slump in the real estate market that’s been felt globally, even homes in Dayton felt the dip. The falling ratings the IPL has also been to blame in the past two years.

Speaking exclusively to PTI, DLF Group Executive Director Rajeev Talwar said: “Sponsoring IPL over the last five years was a strategic decision wherein we wanted to establish our brand presence across India as the leading real estate player, our IPO came in 2007, a year before the IPL started. We were very aggressive pan-India then. We had good presence in all big cities.”

According to Talwar, DLF spent Rs 250 crore (US$ 44.96 million) throughout its five-year association with the IPL.

Even though DLF has pulled out of the star-studded Twenty20 tournament, Talwar noted that the company still had interests in promoting other sports, but he ruled out the possibility of the firm owning a franchise or team.

Talwar stated that if the company started to promote another sport it “will be less than Rs 50 crore ($9 million) a year that we spent in IPL.”

With the company choosing not to sign a new contract with the BCCI, it is a further indication that interest for the Twenty20 competition is continuing to decrease.

The television ratings of the IPL have started to drop significantly, as the average TVR in 2010 was 5.51, which to 3.51 in 2011 and it go no better for the league this year as the ratings fell to an all-time low of 3.45.

With the ever worsening global economic situation, many cricket pundits and fans expect the BCCI to have a tough time finding a replacement for DLF.

DLF are the third title sponsors to withdraw from a major BCCI backed tournament, as Airtel pulled out as title sponsors from the Champions League Twenty20 in 2011 and their successors Nokia also pulled out as title sponsors earlier this year.

According to Talwar, DLF have already got involved in golf and tennis, whereby a prize of about Rs 1 crore ($179,000) will be given to the winner of the annual DLF Masters.

DLF will also be one of the sponsors for the David Cup this year, and will be spending about Rs 2 crore.

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