The BCCI on Tuesday formally announced MPL Sports apparel and accessories as the official kit sponsor and merchandise partner of both the national men's and women's sides as well as the U-19 team, replacing Nike. The deal was cleared by the Board's apex council on November 2. Nike had a five-year deal during which they paid Rs 370 crore from 2016 to 2020.
MPL Sports, the sports merchandise brand from Mobile Premier League -- an e-sports platform -- offers a wide range of sports wear and cricket equipment, along with other accessories such as masks, wrist bands, footwear and headgear. As per the newly-inked strategic partnership, MPL Sports has entered into a three-year agreement from November 2020 to December 2023.
MPL Sports' association with the BCCI begins with India's tour of Australia, which will see Team India sporting the new jerseys. The senior men and women and the Under-19 teams are also a part of the deal for the new kits. As part of the deal, MPL Sports' designed and manufactured jerseys will be worn by the Indian men's, women's and the U-19 teams.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said: "We look forward to MPL Sports adding a new chapter to the team's kit, and bring official BCCI licensed merchandise within easy and convenient reach for the billion-plus fans who cheer for Team India."
Apart from Team India jerseys, MPL Sports will also sell licensed Team India merchandise. MPL Sports will offer the jerseys and its wide range of Team India merchandise to fans at affordable prices. Board secretary Jay Shah said: "The partnership leads us to a new frontier for Team India and for sports merchandising in the country.
"This partnership aims at facilitating access to high-quality Indian cricket fan merchandise, including the coveted Indian cricket team jersey for cricket fans not just in the country but globally."
The previous deal with Nike, a four-year contract, ended in September. MPL is currently associated with two IPL franchises -- Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore --, a CPL team and the cricket boards of Ireland and the UAE. Commenting on the partnership, MPL Sports' senior vice president Abhishek Madhavan said, "India is a market with a billion cricket fans and we see a lot of potential in the under-penetrated merchandise market in India.
"We hope to partner closely with the BCCI and take all kinds of Team India merchandise to the masses -- with offline as well as online distribution at affordable prices.