Twenty20 Cricket Will Lose Its Title Sponsor, Potentially Before The Deal Concludes
Insurance group Friends Life is giving up its title sponsorship of cricket's Twenty20 county format when its four-year deal ends next year, according to Daniel Farey-Jones of MARKETING MAGAZINE. The move will come "ahead of a general review of the county game" by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The deal is due to end after the '13 season, but both the brand and the ECB "are open to the possibility of a new sponsor taking over" for the '13 season, which will run from June to August with more than 90 fixtures. Whether Twenty20 returns in '14, and in what form, "depends on a review to be discussed by the ECB board this winter" that will also include possible changes to the four-day competition format, sponsored by car insurance company Liverpool Victoria, and the 40-over format, sponsored by Clydesdale Bank. Friends Provident took the title sponsorship in '10, and Friends Life was formed in '11 by a merger of the U.K. operations of Friends Provident and the life assurance businesses acquired from Bupa and AXA U.K. (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 8/28).