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Brit Insurance to end England deal

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 22, 2012

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Jade Dernbach is congratulated by his team-mates, England v South Africa, 3rd NatWest ODI, The Oval, August 31, 2012
Brit Insurance have decided not to renew their sponsorship of the England team © Getty Images
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The ECB have lost a second major sponsor in three months after Brit Insurance decided not to renew its deal as the England team sponsor. In August, Friends Life, sponsors of domestic cricket for six years, also decided against continuing their backing of the t20 competition.

Brit Insurance will bring to an end their nine-year association with cricket after "fundamental, structural and strategic change in its business interests." Earlier this year, the company axed its marketing and communications team and their new direction steers them away from the four-year deal with the ECB which began in 2009 and saw them succeed Vodafone. Brit had previously been the principal sponsor of Surrey, with The Oval rebranded under their name from 2004 to 2010.

Brit's sponsorship of England, reportedly worth up to £18 million, has coincided with one of the most successful periods in the team's history. The men's team won the 2010 World T20, regained the Ashes in Australia with a first away series win for 24 years in 2011 and reached No. 1 in the world Test rankings in the same year. The women's team retained their status as the No. 1 ODI side and reached the final of the 2012 Women's World T20.

"We are very proud to have partnered with the ECB and supported them in what has been a fantastic period in English cricket," Mark Cloutier, the Brit Group CEO, said. "But as Brit's business has re-shaped and developed into something very different to the business it was a few years ago, it's right that we step back and allow another sponsor to come forward and build on this brilliant partnership opportunity."

Brit's deal extends until April 2014, to include the next Ashes series in Australia but the ECB are looking to agree a new deal for a minimum of three years and have an arrangement that could see a new sponsor take over before Brit's contract expires.

"The ECB thanks Brit for what has been an important and successful partnership for both parties," the ECB commercial director, John Perera said. "Brit has benefited from significant exposure as both the men's and women's teams have achieved extraordinary levels of success since the partnership began. Our search for a new sponsor will begin immediately and we anticipate significant interest from potential partners who wish to be associated with the England cricket teams."

Perera will ensure a new sponsor is apposite for English cricket, "The brand has to have stature commensurate with the England team," he told Marketing Magazine. "Some of the football deals wouldn't be appropriate."

Brands that sit comfortably alongside English cricket include investment bank Investec, who added to their sponsorship of the Derby, Tottenham Hotspur and England Women's hockey with a 10-year deal for the title rights to Test matches, worth a reported £50 million, signed in November 2011 and earlier that year, Buxton Water renewed their sponsorship until the end of 2013.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 24, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

@baghels.a - PS another thing is that our players aren't rated in IPL.Several players inc Jim and Swann went unsold last year so it's not just a case of availability it's also a case of them being in vogue.Also - because of the clash with our domestic season - County sides pushing for domestic honours will not be keen to let their players(who aren't ECB contracted) do IPL because they want them to help their own sides.As a Somerset fan I was aggrieved to see how much bench time Alf Thomas was getting out there when our side was down to the bare bones. Another thing I'd do is (as a county chief) ensure that any of my players playing IPL , is not contracted to the IPL franchise for CLT20 if my side qualifies for the CLT20 as happened with T+T stars this year - not that any of our sides will play CLT20 next year.Basically I'd treat each player/case on it's merrits. If a player has not had much game time I'd encourage it,if a player is looking jaded it would be the opposite.All the best

Posted by JG2704 on (October 24, 2012, 21:07 GMT)

@baghels.a on (October 24 2012, 09:15 AM GMT) Good sensible response there bud. To be fair I don't think Morgan made a huge effort to play loads of county cricket when he got back to England but if I was a decision maker at ECB , I would actually encourage certain players to play IPL. To be fair I'm not sure how many country's seasons clash with IPL and another problem is the English summer is a very short one - this year it seemed like a week spread over the whole summer. Also to be fair ECB don't generally stand in the way of players playing IPL so long as they are ready to join up with the Eng squad when they get together - the same as the Oz boys did (joining IPL after the WI series) this year. The one thing I would do is have a contract in place to ensure our players get a certain amount of game time. Going out there to warm the bench is no use to any of our players if they could be playing county cricket here.At least with other country's players they are out of season anyway

Posted by baghels.a on (October 24, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

JG7204, England has some might fine players IPL can do with and they want too but problem is availibity because England test progamme shedule in early may rules that out.All top English fast bowlers will do well,Mat Prior will be a big catch Eoin Morgan is just unlucky not to be playing, he probably should leave for another franchise.Regarding the original query as @John Caulfield suggested Sky themselves should step in, but eventually such a performing side like England will get a sponsor which there succes deserves..........

Posted by   on (October 23, 2012, 20:51 GMT)

Not sure sponsors are "deserting" the England team, as I understand it, Brit is going through a major restructuring and looking towards expanding their brand globally, and sponsoring a sport which is popular in only a few countries probably doesn't fit in with that. Even so, they are fulfilling their contract to the end, not ripping it up totally. Also, I wonder if the fact that cricket in England is televised exclusively on Sky affects sponsors, their brand would get more exposure and coverage on terrestial television. Maybe Sky should go the whole hog and sponsor the England team themselves, just like with Team Sky in cycling.

Posted by InsideHedge on (October 23, 2012, 18:00 GMT)

I never liked those "Brit" (Test) cricket shirts with the LARGE Brit logo. Yuk! Glad to see them gone. For the sake of my passion in acquiring classy (white) Test shirts, I hope the next sponsor employs classy shirt designing artists.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 23, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

@ baghels.a on (October 23 2012, 10:13 AM GMT) Must admit , I think ECB are a bit short sighted at times. However 1 problem is that the IPL sides don't rate our players anyway. Swann was not picked up at the 400k base price and when I saw what Jadeja and others went for it made me realise that Eng players - in general - do not find favour with IPL sides. We don't have that many power hitters anyway but then there are guys out there who are not power hitters who find favour. From ECB's point of view , what they and no England fan wants is a situation ,like with Morgan this year - where one of our players is out there warming the bench. While I feel that IPL can certainly be of benefit to a player , if he's not getting a game then it's no use. Not sure if any of our players would be picked for next IPL - Maybe Wright and Finn

Posted by anton1234 on (October 23, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

Also, a sport can survive and be a very rich entity even when its mostly played in one country. This is particularly the case with American football. But take a look at baseball. Top players in that sport earn salaries in excess of $20 million.

Big Bash League in Australia is proving a success and they are about to sign a big TV (media) deal. All the national T20 leagues are a feeder to the IPL. If you catch the eye of an IPL franchise general manager by performing well in the Big Bash or the English T20, you can earn yourself a big contract in the IPL. So, an increasingly wealthy India can sustain cricket globally in terms of finance. And don't forget, The Big Bash in Australia is strong even in its own right. In fact, it is higher quality than the IPL. However, it is sad that Warne and Murali were signed. They see this tournament as an easy paycheck. They have retired from other forms of the game but still want an easy paycheck in the BBL.I

Posted by baghels.a on (October 23, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

When DLF pulled out of IPL sponsership many including Indian fans said things like hope this is the end of IPL without realising BCCI eventually will find another sponsor with much better terms.However it is sad that Brit insurance is pulling out of such a succesful England side just shows how far behind Cricket is in pecking order in England.Everybody wants to invest in overhyped EPL and be attached with a poor English national football team but not with Cricket.I was in England couple of months back and was surprised some of the locals were not aware of Strauss but knew whom Theo Walcott was dating ??.ECB and BCCI instead of colliding over IPL should join hands for a fruitful relationship.India with it's billion cricket crazy fans and big TV deals remains the only viable market and instead of hating this fact a better understanding is needed.Cricket is a niche sport so entire cricket community needs to unite.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (October 23, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

I think hugo boss....on the shirt in bold writing it would say BOSS

Posted by stulch on (October 22, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

crazy.mechanic Jaguar is already a commerical partner of the England cricket team (official vehicle supplier - England's centrally contracted cricketers drive Jaguars). It also has a strategic partnership with the ECB's National Cricket Performance Centre.

Posted by stulch on (October 22, 2012, 18:54 GMT)

Waleed Khan you can't force sponsors to sponsor competitions they will only do so if they want to and think it's in their interests. If you mean Leicestershire Foxes and Walkers Crisps they are a local firm and sponsored the local football club for a number years, (shirt sponsors and ground sponsors) and are proud of their roots and pleased to be able give something back and it being mutually beneficial.

Posted by crazy.mechanic on (October 22, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

@Waleed Khan- If at all Jaguar is willing to be sponsors then they would push for the Indian team first as u should know JAGUAR and Land Rover is owned by TATA INDIA!!! and as for getting a Nike deal, would be nice if they get one but it's Nike that chooses the side not ECB!!!

Posted by bumsonseats on (October 22, 2012, 17:15 GMT)

well as they got 100 million from a saffer owned insurance company last year. perhaps another saffer owned company well come its never been a problem over the years and even in these times i doubt it will a problem now.

Posted by jonesy.2 on (October 22, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

i cannot understand why anyone would leave the poms and the best national competition. maybe they will come over to australia and help us improve our game, at least improve our batting stocks.

Posted by   on (October 22, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

I think they should look to get a clothing sponsorship deal with Nike. I don't like the fact that 3 countries have Adidas deals, and only India has a Nike deal. If England can manage a Nike deal, then that means more income for the ECB. Also, the ECB will look like the real deal, and therefore more main sponsors would be interested in them. They should also look for Jaguar as a sponsor. I also think that the Friends Life t20, should have more REAL sponsors too, like Nike or Toyota. I think the L.Foxes did a good job getting a Walker's cricket sponsorship deal

Posted by   on (October 22, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

It's nothing to do with IPL or BCCI (though they will, no doubt, be blamed - as they always are these days). It has a lot more to do with the sale of Brit Insurance this summer to a Canadian company that is reshaping the company into a global reinsurance business. If they stick to sports sponsorship they will want to sponsor a global sport, not a niche sport like cricket.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (October 22, 2012, 14:51 GMT)

@SagaeCric - Maybe the BCCI can be the major sponsor of the English cricket team?

Posted by landl47 on (October 22, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

Sponsorship is a revolving door. The success of the England team and the very promising group of younger players in the England set-up will make finding new sponsors fairly straightforward. The important thing is making sure the sponsor's aims and the ECB's needs can both be met.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (October 22, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

I see a lot of people are reading too much into this, Brit was taken over by an Equity managemetn group about 2 years ago, and eversince they have been trying to sell off parts of the business. Sports sponsorship is one area where they can save a lot of cash and make the balance sheet look a little better, but they'd have been tied in for a minimum period, and I'd take money on them having someone lined up already, as this sould have been discussed around 3-4 months ago.

Posted by ATC1810 on (October 22, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

Maybe Poundsaver should be the new sponsor!

Posted by SagarCric on (October 22, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

All this bcoz of IPL and BCCI.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (October 22, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

As with everywhere due to the recession, companies are cutting back. Cutting staff, cutting wages. And cutting sponsorships. England'll no doubt find something else. It's not like we're Australia.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (October 22, 2012, 12:37 GMT)

I guess the sponsor have seen the writing on the wall for a while now and think it better to up-stumps than be associated with this sinking vessel. The hubris at attaining #1, the raft of ghost written biographies over the christmas period, then a rapid descent into ignominy, Peitersen debacle, apologies to CSA, all point to a administration not in touch with the running of their organisation. No doubt there will be fellow England fans desperately clinging to that brief glimpse of glory, but better to face reality, like the sponsors have, and rebuild.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (October 22, 2012, 12:28 GMT)

So "the brand has to have stature commensurate with the England team". After the events of the past 3 months maybe this is why sponsors are leaving.

Posted by Shridharan.S on (October 22, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

Airtel or Investec can Sponsor England Cricket Team.

Posted by CricketMaan on (October 22, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

Maybe right time for Amul to sponsor England during thier India trip :)..its afterall 'Cook' that leads them, it only fits Amul sponsors them

Posted by 200ondebut on (October 22, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

one door closes and other opens. The only problem the ECB have is in the way the media in the UK always try to find the negatives in everything and the impact this may have on attracting a sponsor.

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