Chinese smartphone company Vivo is back as the title sponsor of the Indian Premium League cricket tournament, almost a year after the sponsorship deal with the BCCI was suspended amid the India-China border standoff.

The company, which competes with players like Xiaomi and Samsung in the Indian market, also stated that it will expand its portfolio of premium devices, and focus on new technologies like 5G.

“Vivo is back as the title sponsor of IPL and that is very encouraging and exciting for us because IPL is the biggest property in India and is a perfect amalgamation of sports and entertainment, so we are looking forward to the 9th of April, when IPL begins,” Vivo India Director Brand Strategy Nipun Marya told PTI on Wednesday.

He also said that the temporary hold was a mutual decision, and the company and BCCI looked at the larger environment before deciding on putting the sponsorship on hold for a year.

“The whole environment has certainly now changed for the better and overall the environment is better. I think it’s befitting that Vivo is back as the IPL title sponsor… Our old contract is as it is and we continue with all the terms and conditions we earlier had on the contract,” Marya said.

This year’s edition of IPL will run from April 9 to May 30 across six venues — Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata. The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the final on May 30 as well as the play-offs.

Vivo’s sponsorship deal with the BCCI, worth Rs 440 crore per year, was suspended last season due to the India-China border standoff. Vivo had won the IPL title sponsorship rights for five years from 2018 to 2022 for a reported sum of Rs 2,190 crore. It will now be the title sponsor till 2023.

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