PodcastsSports Business Updates

SBU Ep12: BCCI postpone tender for new IPL teams, PUBG coming back to India and more sports business news

The nexus between Sports and Business.

Hello and welcome to the twelfth episode of Sports Business Updates – my weekly podcast featuring the biggest news from the sports industry in India and the rest of the world.

In this week’s episode, I will talk about where the BCCI stands on their decision to add 2 new IPL franchises, I will also talk about which Cricketer had the highest brand endorsement recall during the first phase of IPL 2021 and I will wrap the updates with news about the most anticipated return of PUBG in India and discuss some important questions that players have been asking about the to be relaunched game in India. 

So, let’s get into the details ….

BCCI postpone tender for new IPL teams to revisit the plan in July

Our first update is from BCCI and their plans to add 2 new teams to IPL.

Plans for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to release the tender for new Indian Premier League (IPL) teams this month have been shelved until at least July.

The IPL last had ten teams in 2011, when Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Pune Warriors India were part of the competition. The IPL season had 74 matches that year, and it will be interesting to see how IPL 2022 gets scheduled.

When the announcement to expand the IPL was first made last year1, there were speculations that the Adani Group and Sanjiv Goenka Group were some of the parties interested in bidding for an IPL team. It was reported that a maximum of six venues — Ahmedabad, Kochi, Guwahati, Lucknow, Pune and Dehradun — are likely to be offered in the bid document.

MS Dhoni leads the 2021 brand endorsement recall during the IPL 2021  phase 1

Our second update is also from the IPL but this time it’s about the celeb recall based on brands they endorsed and which were advertised during the IPL.

IPL 2021  may have been suspended but as per a report by the Indian Institute of Human Brands (IIHB), MS Dhoni was named as the most recalled Cricket playing brand ambassador for IPL 2021.

Dream11 was the most spontaneously recalled brand in this year’s IIHB survey, which possibly resulted in the rise of MS Dhoni’s recall as a top celeb. He had a CELEBAR score of 87%, up from 82% last IPL. 

If you break down his recall in percentages:

  • His spontaneous recall was as high as 82%. 
  • His association with Dream 11 was also very constant at 79% from the last edition. 
  • He got a 9% association with IPL/Star TV.
  • 8% brand association with Indigo Paints.
  • 6% with Orient Fans for Orient Fans and Livfast Solar. 
  • 2% recall came from SunFeast Yippee. 

Dhoni’s brand goodness got hijacked by Dream 11, much like last year,” read the report.

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli saw a fall in rankings with a CELEBAR score of 45. He gained mostly from his association with MRF tyres.

Meanwhile, the surprise mover in the list of recalls was former Indian batter Rahul Dravid who saw a rise, thanks to top his CRED ad. Seventeen per cent of respondents spontaneously recalled Dravid’s association with CRED ad.

Sports Business Updates Podcast

Weekly Sports Business Updates now available in Audio

PUBG ready to relaunch in India as Battleground Mobile India

Our third and final update is from the world of mobile gaming in India and the most anticipated comeback of PUBG after the ban on Chinese apps in India.

Krafton, the South Korean developer of PUBG Mobile is bringing back the popular gaming title to India under the brand name Battlegrounds Mobile India. The new title, which uses the colour scheme of the Indian flag and is largely a replica of PUBG Mobile, will offer “a world-class AAA multiplayer” and free-to-play gaming experience on mobile devices.

The developer said it will open pre-registration for Battlegrounds Mobile India “soon” ahead of its launch in the country, but didn’t share a specific date. The rebranded PUBG Mobile has been exclusively developed for the world’s second-largest internet market, Krafton said.

“Krafton will collaborate with partners to build an esports ecosystem while bringing in-game content regularly, starting with a series of India specific in-game events at launch, to be announced later,” it said.

There is a 95% possibility for the game to be released in June 2021.

The relaunch has raised a lot of questions amongst Indian players about their previous accounts and availability etc.

One of the best Indian PUBG players GodNixon Gaming recently answered questions about the new game and here are some important points:

Data and player rankings

  • Players will start a new season in Battlegrounds Mobile India. It has no connection to the seasons in PUBG Mobile (global version).
  • Ranks will be re-set in the new game, and players will have to start from scratch.
  • Players will get the option to migrate their data in Battlegrounds Mobile India.


Players will be getting their inventory back, players will get their UC (Unknown Cash) back and the in-game currency of PUBG Mobile. UC will be converted to the in-game currency of Battlegrounds Mobile India (AG).

iOS v Android registration

iOS users will not have to go through the process of pre-registration. Once the title is launched, they will be able to access it directly. However, Android users will have to pre-register.

This brings us to the end of the twelfth episode of Sports Business Updates. Do visit my website (www.sportsnexus.co) for the infographic on the Indian Sports Industry and join my conversations about sports business on Twitter by following me @nilesh14. Thank you for listening to the podcast and to all my listeners in India please stay safe and wear a mask.

This is Nilesh and you have been listening to the Sports Business Updates podcast – a Sportsnexus production. Have a good week ahead and see you on the next episode of Sports Business Update. 

Get Featured on our Podcast

Do you work in the Sports Industry?
Do you want to join the community of like-minded sports marketing professionals and discuss hot topics from the industry?

Nilesh Deshmukh
I am passionate about sports and passionate about marketing. As a sports marketer, I have built significant expertise in successfully delivering medium to long term digital marketing strategy for global sports entities and brands like Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC, Major League Baseball, Formula E, and AELTC, etc to engage with their fans in India. I am currently based in London and lead India business at Engage Digital Partners.