21 Oct

Following the launch of SportsPro’s inaugural 50 Most Marketable Properties powered by SponsorPulse, the website picked out some of the emerging and resurgent properties to watch in the coming years.

Included in the list were Women’s Super League, Basketball Africa League, Fortnite World Cup and Parkrun. Also included was the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) tournament The Hundred.

The much-anticipated inaugural season of The Hundred might be on hold until next year, but the controversial 100-ball-a-side competition has been one of the most talked about new sports properties since being unveiled by the ECB in April 2018.

Armed with some of the world’s biggest names on big-money contracts, The Hundred is the ECB’s answer to the success of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which stands way out in front as the world’s most lucrative Twenty20 tournament. Much maligned by more traditional followers of the English game, it would be fair to assume that The Hundred hasn’t been designed with them in mind.

Instead, the eight-team, city-based franchise competition has been invented to make cricket visible, accessible and relevant to a younger audience, one which the ECB believes is not engaging with its existing, longer formats, and that has proved increasingly elusive for the governing body since it put English cricket behind a pay wall following the 2005 Ashes.

Coverage on terrestrial TV via the BBC should help solve that issue, and the clamour around The Hundred has also seen no shortage of brands keen to align with the competition early. KP Snacks was quick to sign up as the official team partner for the opening season, while there was also backing from US sportswear brand New Era and insurance provider Vitality.

Whether supporters or detractors, The Hundred is likely to have people watching on with interest to see how it fares. If  the British public embraces it in the same way the cricketing world has taken to Twenty20, then the ECB may well have a serious money-maker on its hands.

John Stephenson


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