While the men’s hairstyling brand is not an official sponsor of the England cricket team, batsman Kevin Pietersen has been the brand’s ‘Brylcreem Boy’ since last year.
The red cricket ball-shaped tub, created by Echo, carries Pietersen’s signature and contains a new product called Brylcreem Paste. The variant will be on sale from 25 November, the day after the first Ashes Test match begins.
Brylcreem is just one of a number of brands taking advantage of the Ashes. However, the official England team sponsor Brit Insurance said it does not plan to run any extra marketing activity for the series.
Mark Jones, group marketing director at Brit Insurance, added that as a business-to-business brand, simply sponsoring the team is promotion enough. ‘The branding on the kit achieves an excellent profile through print and broadcast in the build-up to matches and the series itself,’ he said. ‘We’re already seeing an increase in our profile off the back of that. To create extra advertising around the Ashes would have limited additional benefits,’ he said.
Last year, Adidas replaced Admiral as the official kit supplier to the England cricket team. Other commercial partners of the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) include Marston’s, Red Bull, Buxton and Maximuscle.
In addition, this year’s Ashes will be played under the moniker ‘The Vodafone Ashes Series’ because it is being contested in Australia; Npower is the title sponsor of the UK leg of the Ashes series.
Sky Sports is broadcasting live coverage of the Ashes. Owing to the time difference, the coverage will begin airing at midnight and run throughout the night. It will also show match highlights.
The channel is broadcasting the series in partnership with Jaguar, having secured a broadcast sponsorship deal with the automotive manufacturer.
Despite the high profile of the Ashes series, Tim Crow, chief executive of sponsorship consultancy Synergy, said he did not expect its affiliate brands to produce similar levels of marketing activity to those for the World Cup or the Olympics.
However, he added that this did not mean there was less opportunity for brand marketing.
‘The Ashes is the biggest thing in cricket, and this is the first Ashes series being played in Australia for the social media generation. It will be interesting to see what brands do in terms of digital and social media,’ he said.