The ECB has extended deals with two of its current commercial partners, NatWest and Specsavers, after being forced to find a new sponsor for the Test summer. Investec announced last year it was pulling out of its sponsorship of Test cricket, having initially signed a 10-year deal in 2012.
NatWest, the banking group whose logo appears on all England kit, will be the ECB’s title partner for the two-Test series against Pakistan, which starts next week. The arrangement will be encompassed within the “Cricket Has No Boundaries” campaign, aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion within the game.
From the India series until the end of 2019, a period including next summer’s Ashes, England’s home Tests will be sponsored by Specsavers. The opticians is currently the title partner for the County Championship, having taken over from LV= in 2016.
“These new deals show two key partners developing even deeper relationships with the game,” ECB commercial director Rob Calder said. “It also means that, for the first time, we have specific partners at men’s international and men’s domestic level with Specsavers focusing on red-ball cricket, Royal London owning 50-over cricket, and Vitality driving T20 cricket.
“It is great news for our sport that the Pakistan Test series will celebrate cricket’s inclusive nature under the #NoBoundaries campaign – showing that cricket truly is a game for everyone no matter your background, culture or location.”
The second Test against Pakistan, beginning at Headingley on June 1, will also feature a focus on diversity. Broadcaster Sky will cover club and community initiatives being spearheaded by the ECB, including the All Stars Cricket programme, the work of Chance to Shine, the board’s new South Asian Action Plan and England’s disability teams.