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Waitrose named as England cricket sponsor

ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board) has named upmarket retailer Waitrose as the official sponsor of the England cricket team, taking over from Brit Insurance as of next year, as it seeks to bolster its commercial partnerships.

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The Waitrose logo will appear on England’s Men and Women’s teams’ full match and training gear from May next year until 2016, in a deal that will take in multiple Test Series, the ICC World Cup, T20 World Cup and the 2016 Tour of South Africa. Current sponsor Brit will remain the England team sponsor until April 2014.

As part of the agreement, Waitrose will be allowed to advertise in international cricket grounds and allowed access to England players for commercial and marketing purposes.

Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, says the deal would aid the retailer as it attempts to build its brand across the globe.

The tie-up comes as ECB’s various commercial tie-ups, with brands including Jaguar, Adidas, ASDA andTM Lewin, approaches the £14m per annum mark, growing by 50 per cent in the past five years alone according to the body.

ECB chief executive David Collier, says: “The organisation begins their relationship with the sport with one of our marquee partnerships, and as a brand with a rich history synonymous with quality, they are a perfect fit for the ECB and our values.

“The partnership will allow us to engage further with a mass, family audience which will inevitably help us achieve our aim of inspiring the nation to play, attend and follow more cricket.”

Brit Insurance elected not to renew its current sponsorship deal with the ECB, which has been in place since 2010, in what was described as a “fundamental, structural and strategic change” in the financial company’s business interests.

Elsewhere, Waitrose also announced today that it would renew its sponsorship deal with Reading Football Club despite the side dropping out of the Premier League when the current season ends later this month. As part of its sponsorship of the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons, Waitrose’s name will continue to appear on the team’s home and away kits, Waitrose special offers will be available to season ticket holders, and the supermarket will supply food for the players’ away matches.

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