The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has signed up Happy Shopper to sponsor its international and county cricket umpires.
The brand, which is owned by cash-and-carry group Booker, is an own-label range for independent retailers. The company already sponsors the Booker literary prize.
The one-year deal covers all international matches in the UK this summer as well as the 33 umpires on the ECB Umpires’ Panel, which will now be renamed the Happy Shoppers Umpires’ Panel.
It is believed to be the first time county cricket umpires have carried sponsorship. Utilities company PowerGen used to sponsor international umpires.
Despite supporting the Booker prize, the company has a low profile outside the independent retail and catering trades. It now plans to use this deal to raise consumer awareness.
ECB marketing director Terry Blake says: “This season we have more televised cricket than ever before. Combined with the international schedule, we are confident that Booker will gain significant exposure, helping it to build awareness of the Happy Shopper brand.”
The ECB is still searching for two new sponsors to replace Cornhill Insurance and NatWest.