The cash-rich Indian Premier League will have a new title sponsor in its next edition after PepsiCo expressed its desire to terminate the association with the BCCI.
The beverage giant is keen to walk out on the five-year title contract, due to expire in 2017, because of the cash-rich league bringing "disrepute" to the game.
However, BCCI sources claimed that Pepsi wants to end the deal due to its dipping foreign interests. Sources said the BCCI is in talks with all those interested in bagging the rights and get it transferred from Pepsi. "They have shown a willingness to move out of the deal from this season because of their own interests and not because of disrepute and stuff. So they may not continue as the main sponsor," a senior BCCI source said. "Because they have the deal with them so we are not bothering them. We have a bank guarantee with us and hence can confiscate it, but we are not doing it.
Whosoever will get the rights, we will help get him that guarantee, get it transferred from Pepsi," the source said. PepsiCo, however, could not be reached for its comment regarding their title rights with the cash-rich league. Meanwhile, Indian Premier League chairman Rajeev Shukla said the Pepsi deal is "not a big issue" and the Board is in talks with other sponsors as well to settle the issue "amicably".
"We are in talks with other sponsors as well, so the title deal with Pepsi is not that big an issue. They have certain points and we are going to settle them amicably in the next meeting," Shukla told PTI. "They have been a very good partner all this while and we do not want to disturb our relationship with them.
Whatever is going to happen is going to happen in a very smooth manner," he added. Pepsi wants to withdraw from the sponsorship because of the 2013 spot-fixing scandal that tarnished the IPL's reputation. It had paid Rs 396 crore (71.77 million USD) for the period 2013-2017. The BCCI will take up the matter during its working committee meeting in Mumbai on October 18.