npower extends Test sponsorship deal
National energy provider npower has announced a two-year extension to its title sponsorship of domestic Test match cricket.
npower, whose current agreement runs to the end of the npower Ashes Test series 2005, has been the title sponsor of Test match cricket since 2001 and this will now continue up to and including the 2007 season.
As part of the new contract, a marketing fund of £300,000 each year has been set up and will be directly spent on giving greater access to the sport for fans. npower, in association with the ECB, is currently looking at potential initiatives.
Kevin Miles, Managing Director Residential at npower, said: "Cricket has been a fantastic vehicle for gaining new customers and increasing customer loyalty to the npower brand over the last four seasons and we are delighted to extend our agreement for a further two years - especially given the buoyant state of the current English cricket team.
"Once the new television agreement was signed with Sky and Channel 5, we had no hesitation in agreeing our continued backing of the sport but it was important to us that we ensured that a substantial portion of our money would go directly into giving fans greater access to the sport."
This new marketing initiative will continue npower's drive to bring cricket to a wider audience. npower was the first sponsor to designate a specific area of the Test match grounds to children known as the Pride Side Den - an education initiative in partnership with the ECB to encourage children between the ages of 5-11 to experience a day at a Test match.
In 2004, npower teamed up with the England Supporters’ Cricket Club to offer free membership to fans who signed up for gas and electricity with npower.
David Collier, Chief Executive of the ECB, said: "With the England team having enjoyed four successive Test series wins, Test cricket is proving to be a more attractive vehicle than ever for sponsors and business partners.
“npower has made a significant investment in our game since 2001 and I am delighted that our partnership with them is to continue for a further two years.”
England captain Michael Vaughan added: "npower have been strong supporters of English cricket and the England team and we welcome the renewal of their sponsorship. It's excellent news."
In addition to the Test series, npower is also currently a sponsor of the Women's domestic Test series, the Twenty20Cup and the npower Village Cup.