England Cricket Parlays Onfield Success Into $600M Commercial Boost
English cricket is "turning onfield success into record commercial revenue as the national team seeks a run of victories not seen since the Victorian era," according to Ben Priechenfried of BLOOMBERG. Over the next four years, the England and Wales Cricket Board will earn about $600M from broadcast and sponsorship deals, a figure the ECB says "will rise if the team can add to its three successive Ashes victories over Australia." The latest encounter began Wednesday in Brisbane. ECB Commercial Dir John Perera said, "A fourth on the bounce would be good news for cricket because success breeds interest, not just from customers but also from potential commercial partners." The ECB’s 23-strong list of sponsors, including adidas and Investec, has "enabled non-broadcast commercial revenue to grow" 50% over the past five years. The increase in commercial activity "coincides with an onfield turnaround that has seen England victorious in four of the last five series against Australia." It lost the previous eight. ECB CEO David Collier said, "We’re now reaping the benefits of the vision 16 years ago, when the ECB was formed."
HEAVYWEIGHT SPONSOR LINEUP: The ECB’s sponsorship lineup, featuring companies such as adidas, Nestle, Investec, Jaguar Land Rover and Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, is now "so broad as to resemble that of a major soccer club." BrandRapport Dir Nigel Currie: "It used to be just the main sponsor and the clothing sponsor and a couple of others. There’s a whole range of sponsors and brands associated with the England team and the whole ECB setup. From bottled water to cars to formal clothing to shirts and all sorts of things." London-based sponsorship agency Synergy CEO Tim Crow said that he is "impressed by the ECB’s recent commercial achievements, especially its ability to win such a long-term commitment from Investec." Crow: "The procurement departments of a lot of companies wouldn’t allow them to make a 10-year investment." Investec CMO Van Niekerk said the asset manager carried out a “thorough evaluation” of the entire England setup before putting pen to paper. Van Niekerk said, "It’s a risky investment. What if viewership suddenly dropped or if the team started playing really poorly. We have to consider all those aspects." Broadcast revenue "is the ECB’s biggest income source." At $125M a year, TV deals contribute more than 80% of income. The bulk comes from Sky Sports. In '12 Sky "won TV rights to all home international and domestic matches." The deal "also covers women’s cricket, an increasingly successful part of the game following this year’s Ashes win for the England women’s team." In addition, the ECB also "has a long-standing radio deal" with the BBC, a highlights agreement with terrestrial U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 Broadcasting, and last year signed a seven-year deal with ESPN STAR Sports in Asia (BLOOMBERG, 11/20).