The Role of Sponsorship in Cricket (and the Industries Sponsoring Cricket)

Cricket is a sport with a huge global appeal. Millions of people watch the sport in the countries where it is trendy, including India, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Cricket is also growing in countries such as the US, where a new “Major League Cricket” competition is being launched.

Whenever we see popular sports, we see big sponsorship deals. Plenty of companies are always ready to take advantage of the exposure that is offered by the biggest teams and the biggest events. So what is the role of sponsorship? How much does it bring into the game, and which industries are supporting cricket in the form of sponsorship?

Gambling Sponsors

Gambling is always closely linked to sports. As well as there are a lot of fans who gamble on cricket itself, and plenty engage with other forms of gambling.

There are plenty of sponsors that offer both sportsbook gambling and slot and table games. Many cricket grounds see ads and billboards for companies providing quality and secure online casino gambling options, and games such as poker and blackjack. There is a lot of crossover in the people who enjoy sports like cricket and table games, and some of the sport’s greats like Phil Tufnell and Shane Warne both played poker to a high level. Phil Tufnell even made a DVD about poker skills and techniques.

In South Africa, betting sponsors have helped to grow the Mzansi Super League T20. One deal with Betway saw a deal that spanned three years of the competition, thought to be worth in the range of £2.5 million. As you can see, the gambling and casino linkup with cricket is an important partnership.

Car Brands

Car brands often sponsor sporting competitions and events. It is a way for them to raise awareness of their vehicles, and take advantage of the global reach of the sport. When it comes to big events like the Cricket World Cup, the reach of the exposure is undoubtedly global.

The T20 World Cup has seen a viewership of 1.28 billion across the whole tournament, spread across many countries, so it makes sense for the key partners to be those that have a global reach. In cricket’s most-popular competitions, there is huge interest not just in the countries competing, with millions of viewers from countries with huge populations such as India.

Car brands can use this worldwide reach to build awareness. The global car brand Nissan has been an ICC partner for eight years and continues spreading the word about its cars through cricket.

Nissan is an example of a company that operates all over the world. If a company only traded in the UK, for example, it would arguably not be worth them paying for the global exposure when they can’t take advantage of sales in all of these regions. Car brands that sell in many different countries are the ideal partners.

Travel Brands

Another industry that is global by its very definition is travel, and this means they are very likely to take advantage of some of the most significant events by acting as key sponsors.

Even within cricket, people travel to a lot of other countries to watch the sport and need to book flights and accommodation. This is an opportunity for these brands to align with the sport. For instance, is also among the ICC’s key partners, and Emirates has been the main sponsor of the Emirates Elite ICC Panel of Umpires and Referees for over 20 years.

Other Industries Sponsoring Cricket

Plenty of other industries have a big input on cricket and provide plenty of financing via sponsorships.

Inarticle 80

Financial services also provide key sponsorship deals, with Global Data reporting that there are 77 different financial sponsorship deals in cricket at an elite level. Once again, it makes sense for industries that pretty much everyone needs to engage with to be involved in the game.

The beverage industry is another that we see repeatedly within cricket sponsorship deals. Big brands like Coca-Cola are involved in cricket, which is no surprise when you consider their global sponsorship strategy. This is a ubiquitous brand, and studies show Coca-Cola spends around $4 billion on advertising per year.


Cricket sponsors help to keep the sport healthy, both at this elite level and at a smaller club level. Local sponsorships are worth a lot less money but they can be very appealing to small businesses looking to get their name out there. Even village cricket clubs may have sponsors in the form of local tradespeople and small businesses, helping to fund their training and equipment.

At a high level, the fact that cricket has billions of people interested in it means the sponsorships are worth a lot of money and can be very fruitful for the brands that align with the cricket industry, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *