Miffed with BCCI, Pepsi set to pull out of IPL sponsorship

 Beverage giant Pepsico may pull out of its deal with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for being the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

According to sources, Pepsico is not happy with the recent controversies that have cropped up in the tournament including spot-fixing allegations and a Supreme Court panel headed by Justice Lodha announcing a two year suspension for two of the IPL teams, including Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.

When contacted, Pepsi told Deccan Herald in an e-mailed statement, "BCCI and PepsiCo have had a longstanding cordial relationship and have been in discussions to work out a solution which addresses PepsiCo's concerns. Both parties will share it when ready.”

Pepsico had inked a five-year deal with BCCI for being the title sponsor of the IPL for Rs 396 crore in 2012. If Pepsico eventually pulls out, it will be the second corporate to end its relationship with IPL as the title sponsor. Real estate major DLF had not renewed its title sponsorship with IPL after its deal came to an end following which Pepsico came onboard as the new title sponsor.

BCCI in statement earlier said that it is in amicable discussions with Pepsico for working out a solution.

"BCCI and Pepsico have had a long-standing cordial relationship. Pepsico has raised certain concerns with the BCCI," the statement said.  BCCI has assured that steps will be taken to address the concerns and will work out necessary solutions in the interests of the league as well as Pepsico, the statement added.

Indian Premier League chairman Rajeev Shukla said the Pepsi deal is “not a big issue” and the Board is in talks with other sponsors as well to settle the issue amicably. “We are in talks with other sponsors as well, so the title deal with Pepsi is not that big an issue. They have certain points and we are going to settle them amicably in the next meeting,” Shukla told PTI.

The BCCI will take up the matter during its working committee meeting in Mumbai on October 18.

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