German multinational sports brand Puma is tipped to be the front runner to replace Nike as the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s national teams kit sponsor and merchandising partner.
The US multinational Nike had declined to go into negotiations to extend its contract. The BCCI has floated tender to find a replacement.
Puma has made big strides in the Indian sports and athleisure market ever since signing India captain Virat Kohli in a ₹ 110 crore eight-year deal in 2017. The association had created a national record for an Indian sportsperson as the first ₹100 crore contract with a single brand.
Puma has since also entered into other business partnerships with Kohli for his signature brand One8, derived from his Team India jersey number 18.
Nike has been implementing stringent cost-cutting measures worldwide to sustain and overcome the fall in its global business. Speculation has been rife about the US sportswear giant’s future with the BCCI after the company had announced major job cuts.
A senior market source has revealed that Puma is keen to acquire the Team India jersey and merchandising rights. The brand is seeing it as a good opportunity to grab as the BCCI is expected to be prepared to settle for a deal reasonably below what Nike offered.
Nike was reportedly paying to the BCCI approximately ₹ 10 crores from the Nike deal, including ₹ 88 lakh per match besides the annual contractual obligation of ₹ 6 crores and 15% royalty on the merchandising sales.
However, a decline in Global business has led Nike to opt-out of the partnership after more than a decade and a half.
The deal will be a win, win situation for Puma as it is expected to materialise for a value certainly lower than what the company pays to Kohli alone.