ECB eyes FMCG ties for Ashes and Twenty20

LONDON - The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is aiming to capitalise on a big year for the sport by securing promotional deals with FMCG brands.

This year the governing body will host both the Ashes series and the ICC World Twenty20 tournament, and plans to cash in via on-pack promotions leading up to the summer.

It has already signed up an undisclosed food brand, and is set to unveil fitness supplements brand Maximuscle later this month.

The ECB is also searching for a major global sponsor to support its Twenty20 competition, provisionally entitled the English Premier League (EPL) (Marketing, 15 July 2008).

The EPL is aiming to recruit international stars and audiences and ECB sales manager Nick Moore said it would consider proposals both from domestic and overseas brands for its first title sponsorship.

Moore is also confident that cricket can buck the economic downturn and maintain strong commercial deals. ‘Cricket is a hugely popular sport, and with the rise of Twenty20 it has a broad appeal, so we are confident we have good marketing platforms for brands,' he said.

With the ECB's four-year sponsorship and broadcast cycle ending this year, the governing body is already in negotiations with several of its existing sponsors regarding renewals.

Npower, which sponsors domestic Test matches, and NatWest, which backs domestic international one-day cricket, are both renegotiating their contracts.

Marketing can reveal that the ECB is also seeking an official media partner after confirming it will not extend its existing deal with the Telegraph Group.

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