Waitrose signed a ground-breaking three-year deal with the England & Wales Cricket Board to become the new Team Sponsor of England Cricket from 2014.
The Waitrose logo will feature on all England teams playing and training wear from the Investec Test Series against Sri Lanka in May 2014, and their tenure includes prestigious home Series against India (2014) and Australia (2015), the ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand (2015), the ICC World Twenty20 and ICC Women’s World T20 in India (2016), and the tour of South Africa (2016).
Waitrose, Britain's favourite supermarket, has 291 branches throughout England, Wales and Scotland, the fastest growing major online grocery service and exports to 45 countries around the world.
ECB Chief Executive David Collier said: "We are delighted to welcome Waitrose as the new sole sponsor of our England teams. The organisation begins their relationship with the sport with one of our marquee partnerships, and as a brand with a rich history synonymous with quality, they are a perfect fit for the ECB and our values.
“The partnership will allow us to engage further with a mass, family audience which will inevitably help us achieve our aim of inspiring the nation to play, attend and follow more cricket.”
ECB Commercial Director John Perera added: “This partnership is especially pleasing for us as we welcome another high profile, high-street brand into our ever-expanding commercial partner family."
Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose, said: "We currently export our products to a quarter of the world's countries and associating Waitrose with this great national and international sport will enable us to build our brand globally."
Rupert Thomas, Marketing Director of Waitrose, said: "Millions of people play and watch cricket in the UK and at the heart of the game is the cricket tea which of course Waitrose is perfectly placed to provide. We look forward to developing this exciting relationship and bringing benefits to our customers, the Partners who work at Waitrose and the wider community."
As part of the agreement, Waitrose will benefit from a comprehensive range of rights and assets which will include advertising in international cricket grounds, team image rights, ticketing, hospitality and access to England players for commercial and marketing purposes. The agreement also includes a community and recreational project for the sport.
Commitment to community activity and grassroots
Waitrose has signalled its commitment to support local communities and grassroots activity through the cricket sponsorship with a number of initiatives:
- ECB Club Open Days with Waitrose: supporting 1000 cricket clubs all over the country as they hold Open Days on international cricket weekends, with clubs throwing open their pavilion doors this summer to welcome guests from their community to play and watch cricket. Waitrose will be helping to provide food and drink as clubs host and fundraise from their Open Day, as well as signing clubs up to the myWaitrose scheme for ongoing rewards and benefits. Clubs will be able to register to hold an event from May 19 at www.ecb.co.uk/clubopendays
- Partner Volunteering: Waitrose employees will be encouraged to spend some of their volunteering hours helping out at local cricket clubs or for other cricket related causes in the community, while being paid by the retailer.
- Waitrose Charitable Donations: for every four or six scored across the entire international summer (England, England Women, England Lions, England Under-19s and all England disability teams), Waitrose will donate £100. The resultant funds will be paid in to the Waitrose Small Grants Scheme, which is managed by the England & Wales Cricket Trust (EWCT), and will be accessible to all clubs to apply for funding for their club facilities.
- Asian Cricket Awards: Waitrose is sponsoring the Team of the Year Award as well as two Asian Cricket festivals this summer, furthering its support of grassroots cricket.