Sponsors on a sticky wicket

Fri, Jul 27, 2012, 01:00

Judging by reports from sun-kissed Trinidad and Tobago, talks between Denis O’Brien’s Digicel mobile phone company and the West Indies Cricket Board on renewing their lucrative sponsorship arrangement have stalled.

The $20 million (€16.3 million) sponsorship expires in September with the two sides yet to agree a new deal.

The WICB has been talking to other potential sponsors, although Digicel has the right to match any other offer that a third party might table for the sponsorship rights.

The West Indies have underperformed for many years and are a pale shadow of the once-mighty team that ruled the roost in world cricket from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s.

That said, cricket remains a big sport in the Caribbean and the West Indies have proved a good branding tool for Digicel.

“We’ve been talking to them and we want to continue [our sponsorship],” Digicel’s director of marketing operations Kieran Foley told media outlet Newsday in Trinidad and Tobago last week.

“We have to wait for the WICB to go through the market and see what offer they can get. When contracts are ending that is normal and everything is following a normal process . . . we’ve been speaking to the WICB for nearly two years so we definitely have an interest [in renewing],” Foley added.