USA set to reap rewards of marketing deal October 6, 2006

A new hope

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.