Two separate title sponsors for England test matches in 2018
There will be two different title sponsors for the England cricket team’s home test series this summer after deals were announced with bank NatWest and optician Specsavers.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said that NatWest, which is already the main sponsor of England’s national teams, will give its name to the two-test series against Pakistan, which starts with the first match at Lord’s Cricket Ground (pictured), beginning next Thursday.
Specsavers, the title sponsor of the domestic County Championship, will take over for the subsequent five-test series against India, and retain rights through to the end of the 2019 season, including the high-profile Ashes series against Australia.
It was reported last month that the ECB was in talks with Specsavers as it sought a replacement for Investec, the international investment bank, which withdrew as the title sponsor of England’s test matches at the end of 2017, half-way through a 10-year deal worth around £40 million ($56 million).
Investec was thought to have been disconcerted by a separate four-year agreement the ECB had signed with NatWest, also worth £4 million per annum, to become the shirt sponsor of the England national teams across all formats.
The two-match Pakistan series will be named the NatWest Test Series #NoBoundaries as part of the ‘Cricket Has No Boundaries’ campaign focusing on “celebrating the diverse and inclusive nature of cricket as a game for all.”
ECB commercial director Rob Calder said today: "These new deals show two key partners developing even deeper relationships with the game. It also means that, for the first time, we have specific partners at men’s international and men’s domestic level with Specsavers focusing on red-ball cricket, Royal London owning 50-over cricket, and Vitality driving T20 cricket."