USA set to reap rewards of marketing deal

A new hope

Martin Williamson

October 6, 2006

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The USA Cricket Association executive meeting in Florida on Saturday (October 7) is set to unveil an ambitious new partnership with an international sports marketing company.

The USACA is likely to enter into a joint venture with the company, and this body will be responsible for a number of aspects of cricket in the USA.

Cricinfo understands the proposal is for a complete and comprehensive development of all commercial aspects of the sports and not just a replacement of the abandoned Project USA program. It is a more comprehensive A-Z program for the development of the sport in the USA from grass roots up.

Programs for the overall commercial development of the sport are also being put in place as well as database management programs that will assist with player registration and high level athlete identification. This will allow the governance of the sport to be run by USACA with the business and commercial side run by professional experienced sports marketing people, with USACA officials on the board of the joint venture company.

It is reported that Gladstone Dainty, the USACA president, has been negotiating with the company and that he will present recommendations to the board.

If the deal goes ahead, then it is likely to mean that international matches should be hosted in the USA as early as 2008. Three likely locations have been identified - Florida, New York and Los Angeles - and a local expert said he believed these could be ready for use with temporary seating for up to 40,000 spectators by early 2008.

The USACA will need to overcome one other obstacle. It is widely thought that Dainty entered into a deal with a businessman named Kal Patel in 2005 in which Patel acquired the rights to stage international games in the USA. Repeated requests by Cricinfo for clarification have been ignored, but the Patel situation will need to be addressed.

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Martin Williamson Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.
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