Friends Life to end t20 sponsorship

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The England and Wales Cricket Board today announced that Friends Life, the current title sponsor of domestic Twenty20 cricket, will not be renewing their contract with the ECB beyond the 2013 season.

The decision follows a change in Friends Life's corporate objectives. The company has been title sponsor of the Friends Life t20 competition for the past three years, and previously sponsored the Friends Provident Trophy 50-over competition for three years.

In order to assist the ECB in identifying a suitable successor for this exciting and popular competition, Friends Life has given the ECB the earliest possible notification of their plans, meaning that the ECB can have discussions with interested parties. Both Friends Life and the ECB are open to the possibility of a new sponsor taking over the title sponsorship for the 2013 season.

SWALEC Stadium

Saturday's Friends Life t20 finals day, during which Hampshire beat Yorkshire in the showpiece, was a 16,000 sell-out in Cardiff

ECB Commercial Director John Perera said: "The ECB thanks Friends Life for its support of domestic cricket in recent years. The brand has benefited from significant exposure as the t20 format has continued to grow in popularity with cricket fans.

“Our search for a new sponsor will begin immediately and we anticipate significant interest from potential partners who wish to be associated with one of sport's most exciting and dynamic properties."

Corporate Affairs & Brand Director Peter Foster added: "We have enjoyed a successful sponsorship of the domestic t20 competition and have been a partner of cricket for many years.

“We are however conducting a review of our sponsorship programme with our agency Generate Sponsorship and this work has identified that the competition audience does not fit with our future customer strategy, although other formats of the game may still provide a relevant association. We continue to enjoy a strong relationship with the ECB and wish them well in finding a new partner."

Attendances of the Friends Life t20 competition have remained strong during its 10th season, including a 16,000 sell-out finals day last Saturday at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff, in which Hampshire Royals were crowned champions after beating Yorkshire Carnegie by 10 runs.

Sky Sports broadcast 25 live Friends Life t20 games during the 2012 season.