Cricket Australia’s balance sheet has received a boost in the form of a three-year sponsorship deal with Vodafone, which has snapped up the men’s Test naming rights.
The telco’s return as a major backer follows a six-month search, which started when Domain walked away after sponsoring the 2018-19 and 2019-20 Test seasons.
Magellan’s status as CA’s platinum Test partner was even shorter.
The fund manager came on board for 2017-18 then terminated its three-year deal, estimated to be worth $20 million in total, in the aftermath of the sandpaper scandal.
Tim Paine’s team have since rebuilt their image and improved on the field, claiming top spot on the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings, but the broader financial climate is currently bleak.
Marketing firm Two Circles has projected the global sports sponsorship spending will fall by approximately $26 billion this year as businesses seek to cut costs.
The Test sponsorship rights are the most eye-catching property that CA can offer sponsors, especially with India and England slated to tour during the next two summers.
Vodafone has also signed up as sponsors of the national women’s team and women’s Big Bash League.
CA stood down the majority of its staff for almost three months, axed 40 jobs, cut all bonuses for senior management and introduced a range of other belt-tightening measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The governing body is currently locked in crisis talks with free-to-air broadcaster Seven West Media, which is seeking a reduction in its annual fee that forms part of CA’s $1.2-billion TV broadcast deal.