NatWest eyes review of ECB sponsorship deal

cricketNatWest is understood to be launching a review of its sponsorship programme with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as part of a strategy to extend its links with the sport.

The bank, owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, is understood to be inviting sponsorship agencies to pitch for the contract to handles its activity. Incumbent agency Octagon, which is owned by Interpublic Group, is believed to be repitching for the business.

In July last year, NatWest extended its title sponsorship of one-day international cricket, in a deal worth an estimated £2m. This year NatWest replaced its triangular one-day series and three-match challenge with two traditional five-match tournaments against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

It is understood the review could lead to an extension of its sponsorship arrangements with the ECB. NatWest is believed to be looking to develop a more active and creative involvement with cricket.

In October, the ECB secured a new sponsorship deal with npower for domestic test matches that will deliver a 50% increase in revenue. The utilities company agreed to pay £15m for a three-year deal to take the main title sponsorship for the seven Test matches staged in England every summer. This is a significant increase on the £3m a year paid under the former three-year agreement.

NatWest declined to comment on the review.