Inaugural year of The Hundred set to pave way for enhanced commercialisation of new ECB competition

With The Hundred delighting broadcasters with its back-to-back fixtures and shortened match length, the ECB enjoyed breaking numerous broadcast and attendance records in men’s and women’s cricket. Combined TV coverage for the opening fixture of the men’s competition reached over 2.5 million while the women’s reached 1.95 million. Such viewing figures will surely suggest to the ECB that The Hundred may be ripe for greater commercialisation in future iterations of its new marquee domestic competition, with only Cazoo and KP Snacks giving sponsoring prime shirt sponsorship, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Patrick Kinch, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “While the ECB presently controls all commercial assets for The Hundred, with numerous centralised sponsorship agreements with brands such as Cazoo and KP Snacks in place bringing in a combined annual value of $3.72m, the ECB may consider the largely successful launch of the competition as an opportunity to enhance its sponsorship revenue stream.

“Looking at competing domestic competitions in Australia and India, teams have greater control of their commercial assets, as they are able to secure their own front of shirt, back of shirt, helmet and sleeve sponsors. Currently, KP Snacks and its portfolio of brands appear as the only front of shirt sponsor in The Hundred, in a deal reportedly worth $970,000 annually. Similarly, Cazoo, the presenting sponsor of The Hundred, and sleeve sponsor of each side, is committed to the competition until 2022, with its partnership estimated to be worth $2.75m a year.”

Should the ECB opt for a more expansive commercial strategy for The Hundred, teams may be able to control their own sponsorship rights as they do in the BBL and the IPL. The average deal volume for BBL teams stands at nine, while IPL sides have on average 20 deals. Such an approach where teams control their own commercial rights risks creating a financial gulf between teams, as sides without the biggest private investment, or the biggest players, will not be able to secure as great a value for their sponsorship assets as a team, which includes the world’s biggest cricketers.

Kinch continues: “Given the competition’s early stages, a more hands off commercial strategy seems far off, with the more likely short-term outcome being increased shirt branding and partnership volume, still centralised by the ECB. Do not be surprised if The Hundred 2.0 is launched with back of shirt sponsors and increased category partnerships for the ECB, as brands look to jump on the growing cricket bandwagon following the inaugural Hundred.”

More Media