England women's cricket team won the Ashes in 2013 © AFP
England women’s cricket team won the Ashes in 2013 © AFP

 

Jul 15, 2014

 

The England women’s cricket team created history in terms of sponsorship deals for women’s cricket. Charlotte Edwards’s team signed their first standalone sponsorship agreement of two-year with Kia Motors. Though the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) didn’t disclose the exact value of the deal, but according to sources, it was worth in excess of six figures per year.

 

According to a report published in BBC’s official website, Kia Motors will become the sole title sponsor of England’s home Test matches over the next two years. The first of those is against India next month, followed by the Women’s Ashes Test against Australia next summer. The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation’s latest research showed that only 0.4 per cent of commercial investment goes to women’s sport. In this term the current deal is a major breakthrough.

 

British Sports Minister Helen Grant praised the ECB and England players for securing the “ground-breaking partnership”. Other sponsorship arrangements with the women’s team have been part of deals with the entire England set-up.  Former captain Clare Connor, and now the ECB’s head of women’s cricket, said, “Major global brands want to be associated with winners, and it is fantastic that the team’s outstanding performances on the field and growing media profile have enabled the England women’s cricket to earn their first-ever standalone commercial deal.”

 

Chief executive Ruth Holdaway applauded Kia’s stance and called for other companies to be “brave” and invest in women’s sport. She told, “When the figures are laid bare it becomes apparent how shocking it is and how women’s sport is lacking in support even though the women are so successful and are such amazing role models. A deal like this is critically important to changing that and showing what can be achieved.”