Pepsi considers IPL withdrawal fearing negative impact on brand image

Pepsi began its five-year association with the Indian Premier League in 2013 © Getty Images

Mumbai: May 24, 2013

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 spot-fixing controversy has added another worry for the BCCI as brand sponsors PepsiCo are considering pulling out of the tournament.

This comes just three days after Sahara pulled its team Pune Warriors India out of the IPL.

This is the first year of PepsiCo’s overall five-year contract with the IPL. Top officials from both parties will decide on the matter once IPL 2013 gets over, as reported by The Indian Express.

PepsiCo became title sponsors after bidding Rs 396.8 crores. They beat out competition from Airtel, who offered Rs 316 crores.

But their first season associated with the Twenty20 league has seen many controversies come down on the tournament. The IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy was followed by withdrawal by the Pune franchise.

Sources said that PepsiCo is concerned that all these controversies would affect its brand image especially being the title sponsors.

“The reputation of the IPL is taking a hit and at the same time it represents a huge cost for us for five years. The earlier sponsor, DLF, paid Rs 200 crores, while we are paying nearly Rs 400 crores for five years,” said a top PepsiCo official on condition of anonymity.

Though the BCCI have said they are working to keep hold of the sponsors. “The talks are still on and we are confident that Pepsi will be with us.

“They have told us that the image of IPL has been tarnished, and their head office feels that they don’t want to be associated with controversies. They feel costs are high and returns are low.”

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