Specsavers unveiled as new County Championship sponsor
Specsavers has been announced as the new sponsor of the County Championship, replacing insurers LV= after a 14-year association. The optical retail chain has signed a four-year deal with the ECB for full naming and branding rights for the first-class competition.
The ECB had been searching for a successor to LV=, which was known as Liverpool Victoria when it took over as the Championship's sponsor in 2002, and has chosen to extend its relationship with Specsavers, which has been the board's official optometry and hearing partner and principal partner of the Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) since 2014.
"We're very pleased to have agreed a four-year deal with Specsavers after holding discussions with several interested parties about this sponsorship package," Sanjay Patel, the ECB's commercial director, said
"The County Championship continues to enjoy a strong following and the competition's geographical spread across 18 different counties will help Specsavers gain wider brand exposure at both regional and national level.
"Our commercial family continues to expand and today's announcement highlights once again that cricket is an attractive property to a wide range of different brands and businesses."
Yorkshire are the reigning county champions, having lifted the title in 2014 and 2015, and will begin their Championship defence when the new season gets under way on April 10.
The news follows an agreement with Greene King to become the "official beer of England cricket", replacing Marston's, and the renewal of Yorkshire Tea's status as "official brew". The ECB is also looking for a successor to Waitrose as main sponsor of the England team, after the supermarket chain decided not to continue with its deal beyond 2016.