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Cricket Australia moves to XXXX after end of two decade-long CUB link
Cricket Australia has announced a new sponsorship deal with brewer Lion which will see the XXXX brand become the sport’s official beer.
The move follows an announcement at the end of last week that Carlton & United Breweries would end its 20 year deal with the sport during which time the Victoria Bitter brand was allied with Australia’s Test and one-day international teams.
The new deal will see Lion products stocked at all Cricket Australia official functions, along with in-stadium signage. However, the partnership does not include any branding of player clothing.
Under a restructure of Cricket Australia’s commercial partnerships, naming rights sponsorship for the men’s international team, Test series and the short-form series (one-day and T20 internationals) are being negotiated separately.
Cricket Australia has said that discussions for all three are well advanced and will be announced as they are concluded.
Commenting on the end of the link with Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), a brewery spokesman cited commercial reasons for the deal ending, despite maintaining sponsorships across other sports.
The spokesman advised “CUB has made a commercial decision to focus on more direct advertising during summer across our broad portfolio.
“CUB will maintain its strong and long-term sponsorship arrangements with Australian sport, including the AFL and NRL.”
CUB’s cricket deal was reportedly worth an estimated $65 million.
While not having been a Cricket Australia sponsor, Lion and XXXX have associated the brand with a number of cricket related promotions in recent years, including beach cricket (pictured above).
After the announcement of the end of the CUB deal last week, health campaigners, many of whom have criticised the close links between the sport and alcohol consumption, expressed hope that the sport might move away from beer sponsorship.
While both brands promote their ‘Australianess’, each are owned by multi-national brewing giants. XXXX and Lion are owned by Kirin Holdings Company, Limited of Japan while VB and Carlton & United Breweries are owned by Belgian-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer.
The new deal will begin from 1st July.
Images: XXXX backs beach cricket (top) and a past VB/Cricket Australia promotion (below).
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