A media release from Robi claimed the decision to move out from the contract was based on the deal losing its relevance
Mobile network company Robi has pulled-out from its contract with the BCB as a sponsor of the Bangladesh national cricket team. The deal had also allowed Robi to brand on Bangladesh A team, Bangladesh U19 and Bangladesh national women’s cricket team.
A media release from Robi claimed the decision to move out from the contract was based on the deal losing its relevance.
BCB chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury informed that the board has already come to a decision to stop Robi branding on all BCB assets and that the issue has been forwarded to a legal team to deal with.
“We have received similar information and they (Robi) have also communicated the same with us. We have forwarded the issue to the BCB legal team and they will see how to handle this. In the meantime we have stopped all Robi branding in our communication. The day of the termination will depend on the legal terms but as Robi has already informed us, we have immediately decided to stop Robi branding on BCB assets,” said Nizamuddin to Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.
Bangladesh national team has the immediate assignment of the ACC Asia Cup 2018 which will be held in the UAE from September 15. Concerns have already been raised if the BCB will be able manage a sponsor for the Tigers before the multi-nation event with such a short amount of time in hand.
BCB CEO Nizamuddin said it is too early to comment on the board’s next step of roping-in a new sponsor.
Meanwhile, Robi in statement said they did not get their due from the BCB.
It is understood the BCB had gone into a deal with ‘category exclusivity’ which barred the national team cricketers to endorse competitive brands to Robi. However the leading cricketers of the country were already in deals with other telecoms when the BCB-Robi deal happened for the 2017-19 fiscal year. The cricketers took almost a year to come out of their existing deal and by this time Robi had found the contract was violated and not rightly served.
“With a heavy heart, we are stepping aside from our responsibility amid these golden times, due to the BCB’s ongoing sponsorship deal losing relevance. But our unending support for Bangladesh cricket will remain and we will be grateful if we get the opportunity to stand beside the team at different capacities in the future,” said Robi in a statement circulated to different media houses.
Robi first got the Bangladesh national team rights in the 2015-17 fiscal year. The telecom giants had purchased the rights from media planning company 'Top of Mind'. Top of Mind had purchased the rights for Tk 41.41 crores.
Following the conclusion of the two-year deal, Robi was awarded the rights for two more years from June 2017 to June 2019. Robi had emerged as the highest bidder amongst the five participants grabbing the rights for Tk 60 crores – an astonishing 44.9 percent increase from the previous term.