FMCG brands are sponsorship 'opportunists', claims cricket chief

Financial services are preferable sponsorship partners to FMCG brands as they are prepared to sign up to longer-term deals and are "not opportunists", claims England Cricket Board (ECB) commercial director John Perera.

England cricket: Brit Insurance is ending its deal as national team sponsor
England cricket: Brit Insurance is ending its deal as national team sponsor

Perera's comments come ahead of the cricket governing body's unveiling of another financial services provider in one of its key sponsorship categories, which begins next year

Both Brit and FriendsLife have confirmed they will not be renewing their respective sponsorship deals as England team sponsor and domestic Twenty20 sponsor, when they end this year.

Perera argued that both brands had opted to end the deals as they were undergoing "corporate changes", and it was not a reflection on the strength of the sponsorship properties.

Commenting on replacement sponsors for the two financial services brands, Perera said: "We are at contract stage with two companies at the moment. They have been snapped up. They won't be both financial services brands."

He would not divulge the identity of the new sponsors.

Some critics argue that if cricket wants to broaden its appeal, it would be advised to move away from financial services brands and sign up non-finance consumer brands.

Nigel Currie, an executive at agency brandRapport, said: "I think it would help if cricket could attract a big FMCG sponsor, just for the variety if nothing else, and get away from financial services companies."

However, Perera defended the merits of financial services providers.

He said: "You should not be dismissive of financial services brands as they sign up for long-term deals. You find that a lot of FMCG brands will not commit to long-term deals as they are opportunists and work around major events."

In 2011, Investec signed a 10-year deal with the ECB to sponsor domestic Test cricket.

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