Hero pull out as Mumbai Indians' sponsors

New Delhi: Hero MotoCorp, the two-wheeler manufacturer which has been the main sponsor for Neeta Ambani owned IPL team Mumbai Indians (MI) for the last two years, has pulled out of the forthcoming session. Confirming the news, a Mumbai Indians spokesperson said it was an internal decision by the company. “Many premium national and international brands have shown keen interest in being associated with Mumbai Indians. It’s not right for us to divulge any details as of now, as the talks are in the final stages,” said the spokesperson.

Media buyers, who place bids for their clients, said that the sponsorship fee is in the range of R80- 85 crore compared to

R65- 70 crore deal with Hero. Prior to the contract with Hero, Videocon had signed a threeyear deal with Mumbai Indians for aroundw R36 crore during 2010. The association is being discontinued after one season.

Hero, earlier known as Hero Honda, signed a contract for three years as the primary sponsor of Mumbai based IPL franchise in March 2011 after it decided to switch from Delhi Daredevils with which it was associated for three years. Beginning with the fourth edition of the IPL, Mumbai Indians team jersey sported Hero Honda logo on the front.

An email query sent to Hero MotoCorp spokesman was not answered till the time of going to press. However, a senior executive, who did not wish to be identified, said that the company has decided to withdraw all its investments from cricketing gradually. “We have strategically decided to move out of cricket and therefore pulling out from MI is natural,” he said.