Surrey Cricket Club tiers sponsor deals

Surrey County Cricket Club is to overhaul its sponsorship structure and seek major consumer brand sponsors for the first time as it prepares for the completion of the £25m redevelopment of its ground, The Oval.

The move will see a tiered structure put in place with club sponsor, Brit Insurance, becoming the top partner followed by a host of other brands, which will be able to sign up for lesser fees as secondary or tertiary partners.

Potential partners will benefit from improved facilities as a result of the redevelopment project, which will see the creation of a multi-purpose stand with increased hospitality areas, as well as exposure on hoardings throughout the ground.

The sponsorship rejig is part of a brand-building initiative being overseen by Paul Blanchard, Surrey's new sales and marketing director, and former England and Surrey cricketer Alec Stewart.

Blanchard, who was formerly marketing director at Southampton Football Club, is using the redevelopment to introduce non-cricket related revenues.

Plans being considered include offering The Oval as a year-round conference and events centre, and expanding the club's merchandising business, which, according to Blanchard, is not currently fulfilling its potential.

Surrey is also introducing a debenture scheme for next year, which will charge members £2000 to guarantee a seat at the ground for the next eight years. Blanchard said it would raise £2m for the club.

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