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Vitality signs T20-focused deal with ECB

The England and Wales Cricket Board has strengthened its ties with Vitality by agreeing a new deal with the health and life insurance company.

The agreement announced today (Wednesday) sees Vitality become the new title partner of domestic Twenty20 competition the T20 Blast, which will become the Vitality Blast through a four-year contract which will also encompass recreational T20 cricket.

Vitality has also agreed a two-year deal to be the title sponsor of all England’s home international T20 series, both women’s and men’s. The new partnership will give Vitality full competition naming rights, in-ground advertising and hospitality rights as well as access to England players.

The agreements commence this summer and Vitality’s support for the recreational game will include title sponsorship of three key grassroots properties: the men’s and women’s Vitality Club T20 competitions plus the Vitality U19 Club T20 tournament, which was launched nationwide in 2015 and attracted entries from 675 clubs last year.

The insurer has been an official partner of the ECB since 2013 and counts England Test captain Joe Root as one of its ambassadors.

ECB commercial director Rob Calder said: “We’re excited to be working with a partner who shares our enthusiasm and passion for T20 cricket. It’s the fastest growing format of the game, an integral part of ECB’s long-term strategy and has a critical role to play in bringing new people to the sport.

“Vitality are an established brand in the sports marketplace with a proven track record of using sponsorship successfully to grow fan bases and improve participation levels. They’re a natural fit for a partnership to drive interest and engagement in all our different T20 competitions at every level.”

Neville Koopowitz, chief executive of Vitality, added: “This new sponsorship aligns with our own vibrant brand and fits with our desire to increase awareness and engagement among families and across all levels of the game while at the same time telling more people about Vitality.”