ECB is looking for three new main sponsors after LV Insurance, Cazoo and Royal London chose not to renew their partnership with English Cricket.
Cazoo, Hundred’s original two-year title sponsor, has confirmed that he will not be involved in the third edition of the competition this summer. Two Ashes series will be released at the end of the 2023 season.
An ECB spokesman said, “We thank Kazoo for his tremendous support during his first two years of the centenary.” “We are truly proud of the diversity of our partners who have contributed to creating The Hundred and opening the doors of cricket.
“We look forward to announcing new partnerships as the competition approaches his third year.
“We’re very grateful to LV Insurance for their support for cricket in England and Wales. As well as partnering with England men’s and women’s Test cricket and the County Championship, they have done a huge amount for grassroots cricket including through the £1m Funds4Runs initiative.
“With an exciting summer of cricket ahead – including men’s and women’s Ashes – we look forward to working together during the final year of this partnership.”
The ECB is understood to be confident about securing an alternative backer for the Hundred – especially in light of the new chairman Richard Thompson’s valuation of the tournament at £1billion, following a recent £400million offer by a private equity firm.
However, the withdrawals come at an awkward time for the sport, with the imminent publication of a report by the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket which is expected to deliver a damning verdict on the handling of the recent racism crisis.
And while Cazoo’s withdrawal comes amid a business realignment after the company’s share price fell 93% in 2022, it is also understood that the presence of a rival online car-hire firm, Cinch, as the England team’s principal shirt sponsor caused tensions – a situation reminiscent to long-time Test backer Investec’s withdrawal from the sport in 2017, following the introduction of NatWest as the team’s new shirt sponsors. Meanwhile, Royal London withdrew from its sponsorship of domestic and international 50-over cricket in December. This was also a concern for the marginalization of the format, as the arrival of 100 reduced the county competition to Tier 2 status.
Heather Smith, Managing Director of LV General Insurance, said:
“Ashes is very much looking forward to a very successful summer of cricket, but when his 2023 cricket season ends, so will his sponsorship.
“We have always said that we will work with the sport through 2023, and we believe the time has come to naturally pass this amazing sponsorship opportunity on to someone else.”