Test Match Sofa
It's Emirates Old Trafford thanks to sponsorship deal
By Graham Hardcastle
Lancashire’s redeveloped home will be known as Emirates Old Trafford for the next 10 years as part of what is believed to be county cricket’s biggest ever sponsorship deal.
The Red Rose club have signed away the naming rights for their ground and although they have not put a figure on the new deal it will almost certainly top the £700,000 Surrey receive each year from car company Kia to be the Oval’s title sponsor.
The Dubai-based airline Fly Emirates logo will also be on the front of the Lightning’s Twenty20 shirts while Thwaites Brewery will continue to have their name on the County Championship shirts. Lancashire are now searching for another sponsor for the 40-over kit.
The new agreement also includes branding for the redeveloped stadium and a number of marketing rights, which come into effect immediately.
It is a major boost for the county who have posted losses each year since 2009 and are expected to do so again for the financial year of 2012 due to the ongoing ground redevelopment, the majority of which will be completed in time for August’s Ashes Test.
Lancashire chairman Michael Cairns said: “This announcement represents another major step in the redevelopment of Old Trafford.
“The intention to secure a naming rights partner was always on our list of objectives. However, it remained paramount that we secure a partner who was actively committed to cricket and its future while at the same time had significant interests in Manchester and the North West .
“We could not have found a better and more suitable partner than Emirates. We are extremely proud to be associated with them and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship. The financial benefits of this deal are a core component of our long-term strategy for commercial sustainability.
“The partnership will support our intention to be regarded as one of the top county cricket clubs in the country and undisputed as a Category A Test Match venue. We remain committed to providing the very best facilities for our members, players and spectators.”
The deal means that two of the five venues for this summer’s Ashes series will bear the name Emirates, with Durham and the airline already partners. Emirates are also the official worldwide partner for the International Cricket Council.
“Cricket at Lancashire CCC is of the highest quality, it has a global reach, and has produced legends in the sport. We are proud to be lending our name to such incredible success,” said Emirates executive vice chairman Sir Maurice Flanagan, a lifelong Lancashire supporter.
Lancashire will fly out to Dubai for their pre-season tour on March 18, taking part in the Emirates Airline Twenty20 competition with Warwickshire and Sussex.
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