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SBD Global/October 23, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

England Cricket's Shirt Sponsor Will Not Renew After Contract Expires In '14

Brit Insurance will not renew its four-year shirt deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) "is seeking a new sponsor for the England team" after Brit Insurance decided not to renew its four-year shirt deal that runs until '14, "worth a reported £18M ($28.8M)," according to Patrick Kidd of the LONDON TIMES. The insurance company is "the second main sponsor that the ECB has lost in the space of two months." Brit Group has been involved in cricket since '04, first through its sponsorship of Surrey County Cricket Club and securing the naming rights to the Kennington Oval and then as principal team sponsor of the England men’s, women’s, disability and Under-19 teams, as well as the second county England Lions (LONDON TIMES, 10/22). ECB Commercial Dir John Perera said, "If the logistics work and someone came in early, we could do something in time for the (2013-14) Ashes down under." REUTERS' Keith Weir wrote English cricket "will enjoy a high profile next year" following this season's test series with South Africa, a battle for world No. 1, being "overshadowed by the London Olympics" (REUTERS, 10/22).

A WATCHFUL EYE: MARKETING MAGAZINE's John Reynolds noted that earlier this year, Brit Insurance had dropped its marketing and communications team, "a move that put the future of its sponsorship in doubt." Perera, on a replacement sponsor, said: "The brand has to have stature commensurate with the England team. Some of the football deals wouldn't be appropriate for English cricket." The comment is a "well-aimed dig" at deals such as EPL Newcastle's United's "recent sponsorship agreement with controversial loans company Wonga" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 10/22). REUTERS' Weir added that there is "growing evidence that companies are looking closely at what they are getting from their sponsorship agreements when corporate budgets are tight." U.K. Athletics has yet to announce a new sponsor after insurer Aviva announced it was ending its 13-year partnership (REUTERS, 10/22).
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