Magazine article Marketing

Sunday Cricket Caught out by Refuge Withdrawal

Magazine article Marketing

Sunday Cricket Caught out by Refuge Withdrawal

Article excerpt

Sunday cricket caught out by Refuge withdrawal

Refuge Assurance, one of the UK's largest life assurance and pension companies, is pulling out of its sponsorship deal with cricket's Sunday League.

Refuge says it has come to the end of its agreed 2.5m [pounds] five-year sponsorship deal with the Test & County Cricket Board (TCCB) and has no plans to renew the contract.

But although the company claims that it is pleased with the results of the long-running sponsorship, it blames a massive drop in viewing figures on the fact that coverage of the matches was transferred from BBC2 to BSkyB.

"It would be nice to say that we are all cricket lovers and backed the Sunday League just for the benefit of cricket," says Refuge Assurance marketing director Terry Black. "But obviously we expected to get -- and for a long time did get -- a lot of name awareness for our money. But our exposure has diminished greatly since BSkyB took over."

Refuge claims viewing figures for the series fell from 2.6 million when it began sponsoring in 1986 to around 40,000 in the last two years (when BSkyB took over). …

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