What's the story?
Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his teammates are unhappy with their official kit sponsor, Nike, over playing kits that they say are not up to the mark. They have reportedly forwarded the issue to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
"It (Nike’s clothing) has come up for discussion in last COA meeting and chairman CoA (Vinod Rai) took it very strongly. The team cannot have sub-standard kits and we will be engaging with Nike and he has asked to put our case strongly. We have to engage with them, we will have a meeting with them (Nike) next week and try to resolve it at earliest," said BCCI CEO, Rahul Johri, in conversation with The Indian Express.
In case you didn't know...
Nike was roped in as the Indian cricket team's official kit sponsor more than a decade ago, in 2006. The then-bid was for Rs 196.66 crore, which was almost doubled in their newest contract with the team, which was signed last year.
Peter Bratschi was Nike's Sports Marketing Director for Asia Pacific when the brand official sponsorship of the kit.
"This is truly a defining moment for Nike as this is our first step towards demonstrating our commitment to India and the game of cricket," he had said about the acquirement.
Nike paid a whopping amount of ₹370 crore in 2016 to continue its association with the biggest, most popular sport of the country.
The contract is valid from 1 January 2016 to 30 September 2020, during the period of which Nike will pay Rs 87,34,000 to the BCCI for every match that the Indian team participates in.
Since the contract cannot be voided for the next three years, BCCI will look to find a middle ground with Nike instead of terminating the partnership outright.
Moreover, the two parties have been associated with each other for more than ten years and will thus look to continue their relationship instead of calling it off due to one hurdle.
The Indian cricketers are right to speak out against this issue and credit needs to be given to BCCI for acting on their complaint immediately.
International sport is extremely dynamic and competitive at an almost ruthless level. Thus, the kits that are made available to the international athletes cannot be compromised in the slightest. They have to be of the highest quality to ensure maximum efficiency from the athlete using them.