Michael Clarke likely to sign $1 mn bat sponsorship deal with Spartan Sports

Michael Clarke ended his 18-year association with Slazenger days before he slammed his unbeaten triple ton against India at Sydney Getty Images

Sydney: Jan 7, 2012

Australian skipper Michael Clarke, who scored an unbeaten triple century against India in the second Test at SCG, is poised to pocket more than USD one million from a new bat sponsor.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Clarke is poised to sign a three-year contract with bat manufacturer Spartan Sports in what is likely to be the first of a series of deals.

Clarke ended his 18-year association with Slazenger days before he led Australia to a thumping victory at the SCG, the report said.

“It is believed the plan is for Clarke’s bat, and potentially other merchandise, to be emblazoned with his own “MC” logo, just as the great Sachin Tendulkar has his own “ST” brand, which adorns his Adidas-sponsored bats,” it said.

Spartan also has a licensing agreement with Cricket Australia and factories in India, where its bats are manufactured.

“We’re very keen, we’re talking with them (Clarke’s management) and hoping to get it over the line ASAP,” said Spartan consultant Ian Davis, who had known Clarke since his days as general manager of Dunlop Slazenger.

“Michael has always been a really good cricketer … and it would be fantastic for us to have him as an ambassador,” he added.

Clarke now stands alongside Matthew Hayden (380), Don Bradman (334 and 304), Mark Taylor (334 not out), Bob Simpson (311) and Bob Cowper (307) as a member of Australia’s triple Test century club.

Sports marketer Rob Horton said: “There’s plenty of companies who’ll see Michael Clarke as a viable proposition, especially after his gracious declaration where he didn’t pass Don Bradman and Mark Taylor’s score.” (PTI)