The new global partners are the Indian telecommunications giant Reliance Communications, leading West Asian real estate company Emaar MGF, the world’s leading mobile handset manufacturer Nokia and soft-drink giant Pepsi
Three new brands have made it to the ICC sponsors’ list for the next eight years (2007-15). These are Indian telecommunications giant Reliance Communications, Gulf based real estate company Emaar MGF, and the world’s leading mobile handset manufacturer Nokia. In addition, cola giant Pepsi has managed to retain its sponsorship deal for the ICC matches.
In the previous period (2000-07), the sponsors for the ICC matches, besides Pepsi, were LG, Hutch and Hero Honda. Industry estimates indicate that while the previous sponsors paid around Rs 120 crore for the deal, new entrants Reliance and Nokia had to shell out Rs 320-400 crore for the eight-year sponsorship deal. Thus, it is a complete win-win situation for the international cricket board as it has earned more than double what it did in the previous period.
According to Malcom Speed, CEO, ICC, the sponsors will get value for their money and commitment as the current broadcaster, ESPN STAR Sports, will broadcast the matches in more than 110 countries, thus ensuring the brands a wide reach.
Of late, especially after the ICC Cricket World Cup, doubts have been raised about the game’s falling popularity. “India’s good performance (in recent matches) does help the cause, but people generally come to watch competitive games and Twenty20 is the right platform,” Speed asserts.
Alongside global sponsors, four South Africa-based local sponsors were also announced for the Twenty20 Cup: These are Standard Bank of South Africa for financial services, South Africa Tourism, Southern Sun Hotels and Imperial Car Rental.
Although the Internet rights have been awarded to Yahoo!, ICC does not disclose any information about the mobile streaming and score update rights. Logically, Reliance is the best contender for the job since it is the telecom partner for the event.
The tournament is the first of 18 ICC events over the organisation’s new commercial period from 2007 to 2015. The period includes two ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments in the Asian sub-continent in 2011 and in Australia in 2015.