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Investec to make early exit from ECB deal

Specialist bank and asset manager Investec and the England and Wales Cricket Board have today (Friday) confirmed they will bring an early end to their long-term sponsorship deal, with the move reportedly due to the ECB’s decision to enter into a new partnership with banking group NatWest.

The ECB and Investec have said that this summer will bring the final matches in the company’s sponsorship of England Test cricket. The partnership, which covers home matches in England and Wales, will conclude with two Test series against South Africa and West Indies, starting in July and August, respectively.

In November 2011, the ECB and Investec agreed a 10-year deal worth £5m (€5.9m/$6.1m) on an annual basis. The partnership was set to run until 2021 and was the longest sponsorship agreement secured in the ECB’s history. However, UK newspaper The Telegraph said Investec has elected to utilise a break clause in the contract following the ECB’s recent agreement with NatWest.

In July, NatWest upgraded its long-running association with the ECB to become the body’s principal partner. The four-year deal becomes effective in May and will run until 2021. NatWest has been a partner of the ECB since 1980.

Under the new deal, NatWest’s branding will feature on the front of all English national team playing jerseys. NatWest will replace supermarket chain Waitrose as the ECB’s main sponsor. Waitrose’s three-year agreement with the body expires after the conclusion of England’s current tour of India.

Malcolm Fried, an advisor at Investec, said: “Investec has enjoyed an excellent partnership with the ECB over the past five years. The game, the players and the audiences have helped to grow Investec’s brand and Investec has enjoyed collaborating with the ECB in promoting Test cricket. 

“Due to a change in our marketing approach, where we will look to implement a wider range of marketing activities, 2017 will be our last year of sponsoring English Test cricket.”

Sanjay Patel, commercial director of the ECB, added: “Investec have been our official partner for Test match cricket since 2012 and have worked hard to bring their distinctive personality to cricket and the relationships they’ve created in the game.  In doing this, they’ve helped to promote Test cricket and to connect England’s players to the public.

“We thank them for their support over the past five years and look forward to working with them over the coming months to deliver a fantastic final year of Investec Test cricket.”