10 Dec

Cricket Australia (CA) and the Big Bash League (BBL 2020) will witness a unique sponsorship deal when the competition gets underway tonight (10 December). The umpires in Australia’s BBL 2020 will advertise a new sponsor under their arms. 

CA has signed this ground breaking partnership with deodorant and antiperspirant brand Rexona. The umpires’ shirt branding will be fully revealed when signalling a six (both arms raised, two logos revealed) or a bye (one logo). 

Rexona will be the 22nd sponsor to join cricket’s stable of commercial partners as part of its strategy to “own the underarm space” during summer for Cricket Australia. 

“We are constantly on the lookout for brands that want to innovate and do things differently,’’ said Nick Thodey, CA’s head of commercial development. 

“We don’t believe this has been done anywhere in the world, and there has been a strong collabor­ative effort with the broadcasters as well. There will be a Rexona logo just under the underarm, and there will be an integration with the broadcast as well that the cameras will focus on (the logo) during the play.” 

To further exploit the product association with cricket, cardboard cut outs of umpires will appear in supermarkets and retail outlets. 

The deal is the latest in a string of commercial partnerships either renewed or acquired by Cricket Australia this year. The organisation will generate a record A$70m (US$52.43m) in sponsorship this summer, despite the financial difficulties presented by the Covid pandemic. This is 23 percent growth since the controversial 2018 ball-tamp­ering incident with sponsors such as Magellan Financial Group, who abandoned the sport as then captain Steve Smith and players David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned from international and domestic cricket. 

This season beside Rexona, CA has clinched landmark sponsorship deals with Dettol as T20 & ODI series sponsor, Vodafone as Test Match series sponsor. In addition, KFC has renewed as the BBL Title Sponsor. 

“The work we have done on the revenue side has really helped us stabilise our financial situation,” said Stephanie Beltrame, CA’s executive general manager of broadcast and commercial. 

“We’re grateful to have partners stick with us and we’ve brought on a number of new partners … most of them have been at a slight increment to previous deals, and that has allowed us to offset some of the costs that we will incur.” 

John Stephenson 


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