ECB in advanced talks with Unilever over a sponsorship deal worth up to £10m as an official partner for the Hundred set to take place next year
- The Hundred will take place next year even if spectators are unable to attend
- Sportsmail has learned the ECB are hopeful to secure several endorsements
- ECB are in advanced talks with Unilever over a potential sponsorship deal
The ECB are in advanced talks with Unilever over a sponsorship deal for the Hundred worth up to £10million.
Sportsmail has learned that the governing body are hopeful of securing a portfolio agreement that would see the new competition endorsed by a number of the multinational manufacturer’s best-known products, including Wall’s ice-cream, Sure deodorant and Persil washing powder.
Unilever’s interest in becoming an official partner for the Hundred — with a deal worth up to £10m over the first five years — is a significant boost for the ECB, although the involvement of an ice-cream brand could lead to more criticism from health campaigners given the new format is explicitly aimed at children and families.
ECB are looking for sponsorship deals ahead of the Hundred which is to take place next year
The planned launch of the ECB’s new tournament was cancelled this summer due to the ban on crowds during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ECB have decided the Hundred will definitely take place next year even if spectators are unable to attend, so additional sponsorship revenue could be vital in off-setting the potential loss of ticket sales.
The ECB’s finances are under pressure as they are expecting to lose over £100m this summer. So confirmation of ongoing commercial interest will come as a major relief.
England’s Test series against Pakistan has taken place without a title sponsor, and there is considerable uncertainty over whether winter tours to India and Sri Lanka will go ahead.
The ECB have faced calls from counties to cut the cost of next year’s Hundred as the clubs themselves have been warned that their central funding is likely to be reduced by up to 25 per cent.
Executives at Lord’s are resisting this and claim the competition will raise revenue. The negotiations with such a commercial powerhouse as Unilever support those claims.
The ECB are in advanced talks with Unilever of a sponsorship deal worth up to £10million
But any tie-up with ice-cream brand Wall’s will bring scrutiny after the ECB were condemned by the Obesity Health Alliance and several MPs for steering children towards unhealthy food after KP Snacks were unveiled as title sponsors of the Hundred last year.
KP’s products include Hula Hoops, McCoy’s crisps and Butterkist popcorn.
While the ECB are conscious of such criticism, the Unilever tie-up would feature summer-themed products already associated with cricket.
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