US multinational soft drinks company Coca-Cola has been announced as an associate sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament, ahead of the competition’s return next month.
Also on board is broadcaster Tata Sky, taking the total number of sponsors for the IPL's ninth season to ten, with plans to add more in the coming weeks.
The deal is significant from a branding perspective, with Coca-Cola's biggest rival PepsiCo having pulled out of its title sponsorship of the IPL last year following the suspension of two of the league's teams - Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings - after and inquiry into spot-fixing and betting allegations. Coca-Cola had previously been a sponsor of the league prior to PepsiCo's involvement, and is returning after a two-year hiatus.
Elsewhere in Indian cricket, the sport's governing body in the country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has announced a partnership with South Korean automotive manufacturer Hyundai, which will serve as an associate sponsor for all home international matches played by India's cricket teams.
As part of the deal, Hyundai vehicles will be used as the official transport for international cricket games, and the brand will receive logo placement on the pitch, on perimeter boards and on the stadium displays.
Finally, MS Dhoni, the captain of India's limited overs national teams, has become a brand ambassador for Revital H, a vitamin supplement marketed by Sun Pharma. The company is hoping that Dhoni's celebrity status can help to promote the brand in the west and southern parts of the country, where it currently lacks a strong presence.