Abhijit Chowdhury

IPL with its huge reach has achieved to break through the list of top five professional leagues in the world. And this was a reason enough to draw big money from the sponsors willing to get publicity through IPL. Chinese mobile company Vivo had the same intentions and did benefit from the association with IPL in these past few years. But with Vivo gone, the race to get world recognition through IPL sponsorship is on. And Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali is reportedly in the race as well. And this possibility that IPL could become Patanjali IPL has drawn attention from fans and meme creators.

The Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved, which sells a range of grocery products including toothpaste, honey, and noodles in the Ayurveda and natural products space, according to the report is in process of reaching out to BCCI to formally submit its interest.

And after the report was made public, the buzz in the social media was all about how MSD could receive Dantkanti MoM or Coronil Maximum sixes award if Patanjali does win the bid for title sponsorship. Netizens are not keeping themselves restrained from making fun of the fact that we might have a Desi flavor in IPL with Patanjali’s name in front of it.

Not just using Ramdev’s products as a prop to make fun, fans have also given an innovative idea for cheerleading in IPL. Though the cheerleading is organized by the teams. But who cares! One of the fans said that Cheerleading in IPL could just become Yoga tutorials, as cheerleaders might do a Pranayam, Kapalbhati, or Surya Namaskar while a boundary is hit or a wicket falls.

On a serious note, BCCI is expected to offer a 20 to 30 percent discount on the current sponsorship price pegged at Rs 440 crore owing to challenging market conditions. Patanjali is no stranger to sports sponsorship. But this would be the first time the company is planning to get associated with a cricket entity. As per its nationalist and homegrown brand ethos, it has been associated with non-cricket indigenous sports like Kabaddi. Patanjali had bagged co-presenting rights for the Kabaddi World Cup in 2016 and has also sponsored season two of Pro Wrestling League. But Patanjali is now looking for global exposure through cricket. Apart from Patanjali, some of the other firms which have been expected to bid for the title sponsorship include e-learning platform Byju’s, Coca-Cola India, Paytm, and Amazon, among others.

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