New Delhi: Move over logo ‘Sahara’, it will be logo ‘Subrata’ as in Subrata Roy of the Sahara group, which will be pasted on cricket gear worn or used by Indian players during the ICC Champions Trophy.
Sahara group’s logic that brand Sahara represented much more than Air Sahara, and should therefore be allowed on the shirts of the national team during the meet, has been struck down by the world cricket governing body.
The ICC feels that it conflicts with South African Airways — the official sponsors of the meet, and therefore, will affect their business interests.
Though Sahara and its brand communication agency Percept had all along maintained that their logo will not be changed as brand Sahara was much more than just Air Sahara. However, they have had to bow down to the new rules against ambush advertising drawn up by the ICC. The rule disallows players and teams from endorsing any product which conflicts with sponsors of the Champions Trophy and World Cup during the duration of the championship and a certain cooling period after that.
“Apart from this (change of logo), we had the option of either withdrawing our sponsorship or take legal action. But in the interest of the game and not wanting to embarrass the players and the BCCI, we have decided to continue our commitment,” Amar Singh, a director of the group, told reporters Wednesday.
Sahara also complained ICC and BCCI had taken this position despite being aware that it was the group’s logo and not just the airline’s.
Singh said this has forced Sahara to go in for a change in logo with a name that does not contain the word ‘Sahara’. It has consequently chosen to go with the logo ‘Subrata.’
UK Bose, CEO Air Sahara, said: “There is absolutely no commercial conflict between South African Airways and us but despite all our efforts the authorities and South African Airways have refused to see reason”.
Sahara claimed the decision to go in for the Subrata logo is aimed merely to see to it that the Indian team and players do not lose out in terms of revenue and had no commercial basis for it.