ICC in new sponsorship deal with Indian craft beer Bira 91
By Callum Murray
The International Cricket Council, the sport’s world governing body, has agreed a deal for Bira 91, the Indian craft beer brand making its first foray into sport, to become an official partner of the ICC through to 2023.
The partnership includes next year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.
In addition to the World Cup, the Bira 91 partnership covers the ICC T20 World Cup, ICC World Test Championship, ICC U19 Cricket World Cup and the ICC Women’s Championship.
The ICC said: “As an official partner, Bira 91 will integrate the partnership across broadcast and digital platforms, and in-venue activations at all ICC events through their range of products.”The new deal will have to contend with rules banning broadcasters from advertising alcohol in India, one of cricket’s largest and most lucrative markets. The rules say: “No advertisement shall be permitted which promotes directly or indirectly production, sale or consumption of cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor or other intoxicants.”
However, the rules are understood to only prevent Indian broadcasters from showing alcohol advertising at events taking place in India, not those, such as next year’s Cricket World Cup, where the event is being transmitted from another country. Consequently, the ICC told Sportcal that Bira 91 will have "in-bowl inventory" at next year's Cricket World Cup.
Campbell Jamieson, the ICC’s general manager commercial, said: “As we started discussing the partnership with Bira 91, the natural overlaps in their ambitions and ours became obvious. Cricket has more than one billion adult fans and is a natural partner for this exciting brand. The ICC is delighted that Bira 91 has chosen cricket as its partner to drive its global expansion and help achieve its ambition of becoming the first global consumer brand out of India.”
Ankur Jain, founder and chief executive of Bira 91, said, “The ICC partnership is a key moment for Bira 91 as we embark on creating the first global consumer brand to come out of India. A generational ‘change of guard’ in beer is under way as consumers shift towards beers with more colour and flavour.
“World cricket is undergoing a similar generational change as it expands to more dynamic formats, newer geographies and consumers.”
In June, the ICC signed a three-year deal with Wolf Blass in which the Australian winemaker became the official wine partner of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and ICC World T20 in Australia in 2020.
Ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup, Wolf Blass is to issue a range of limited edition labels alongside a UK promotion in July, giving fans the chance to win tickets to the World Cup final.
Wolf Blass’ earlier involvement with cricket included acting as the official wine in Australia of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, which Australia co-hosted with New Zealand.