London, July 11 (ANI): The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is has said that it hoped that English cricket would be put in the 'shop window' for potential new commercial partners thanks to the large media focus on the Ashes summer.
Although it has tied up long-term deals with Investec, to sponsor home Tests, and Waitrose, to become the new sponsor of the England team from next season, the ECB is hoping to attract new partners in a wide range of categories, the Guardian reports.
Stating that the key thing about the Ashes scheduling is that it falls outside the Olympic Games and the major international football tournaments, ECB commercial director John Perera said that the series is a great showcase and 'shop window' for the sport and for prospective new partners.
According to Perera, the board has also been successful in the past in finding new partners on the back of an Ashes year, adding that the ECB could try to attract a range of new partners in categories such as airlines and consumer electronics.
The ECB also hopes that the popularity of the Ashes will convince local authorities and other investors of the wider value of hosting international matches in their cities, adding that it is creating a virtuous circle that is raising funds to be reinvested in the county game, as well as the England team and the grassroots.
Counties pay a fee to the ECB for the right to host international matches, but the governing body said that it takes other factors into account aside from financial considerations, adding that in return, the hosts get to keep the ticket revenue.
According to the report, all five Ashes Tests are almost sold out and the India tour has become even more commercially attractive than hosting Australia, the report added. (ANI)