Cricket Australia has announced telecommunications giant Vodafone as a naming rights partner for men’s Tests in Australia for the next three years. The deal period will include scheduled tours by heavyweights India and England.
The telecom major has also signed on as a partner of the national women’s team as well as the rebel Women’s Big Bash League, states a report on the Cricket Australia official website.
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Nick Hockley cited Vodafone’s return to Australian cricket as a vote of confidence in the game for the coming summer and an endorsement of the national teams’ culture and character.
It also underscored the re-branding of the men’s Test outfit in the wake of the 2018 ball-tampering episode, which was a theme of the eight-part documentary ‘The Test’ that tracked the men’s team from the aftermath of Cape Town to the completion of last year’s Ashes campaign in the UK.
Australia’s men’s Test team now sits atop the ICC rankings ahead of New Zealand and India for the first time since 2016.
Cricket Austalia also shared the piece of information on its official Twitter handle @CricketAus. The message read “We’re excited to welcome @vodafoneau to the cricket family! The telco is joining as men’s Test naming rights partner, rebel Women’s Big Bash League partner and a partner of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team. #RuleSummer”
Hockley, who headed the organising committee for the hugely successful Women’s T20 World Cup before stepping into the CA role last June, said Vodafone’s return to Australia cricket “demonstrates how far the sport has come over recent years”.
“My background is putting together commercial partnerships, and any commercial partnership is built on the alignment of values,” Hockley said. “I think what we saw through ‘The Test’ is the values that group holds, and how they’re really reflecting the values the public wants the Australian cricket team to display.
“We got a real sense from the inside of what everyone stands for. All the way through – from the coach, the captain, the staff and the entire playing squad – they have really restored the faith, restored the trust, and this partnership with Vodafone is just another great reflection of that.”
Vodafone (initially as Orange and then 3) was a long-term sponsor of Australian cricket from 2001-2012, and also held a 12-year sponsorship deal with England’s men’s team that ended in 2010.
The Vodafone logo will be prominent on the playing field and beyond the boundary from the coming Test summer, while energy company Alinta remains the men’s Test team shirt sponsor.