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Nike is official kit sponsor

MUMBAI : Nike is Indian cricket's official kit sponsor for five years, resulting in appearance of `swoosh' logo on non-leading arm of Indian players from January 1, 2006 till December 31 2010. The same company is also official licensee for apparel merchandise of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Lalit Modi, vice president of BCCI, making this announcement, said Nike's Rs 196.66 crore offer was the highest bid, ahead of Adidas (127.50) and Reebok (119.48) after tenders were evaluated. Apart from these three sporting apparel manufacturers, Slazenger was the fourth name on the final shortlist.

As per the arrangement, the Indian cricket team will wear Nike except on the bat, which is considered to be an individual choice for players. Uniforms, clothing for Tests and ODIs, practise wear, travel wear, caps, helmets, headwear, eyewear, carry bags, headbands, wristbands and athletic footwear will have Nike logo.

Nike Inc will also be entitled to retail merchandise at branded outlets and BCCI corners. Mr Modi, said: "The aim was to maximise the gains from the game for benefit of the game. The Cricket Board is looking at exploring new sources of revenue and would soon open itself to product merchandising, ground sponsorship and other licensing as a part of its `Future Vision'."

The BCCI opened tender bids for the official kit sponsors on December 15, with last date for submitting tenders being December 19. "This is truly a defining moment for Nike as this is our first step towards demonstrating our commitment to Indian and cricket," noted Peter Bratschi, Nike's Sports Marketing Director for Asia Pacific.

The Indian team will continue to wear Sahara colours, following BCCI's acceptance of Air Sahara as official sponsor for a four-year period and permitting branding on chest and leading arm. — Special Correspondent

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