12 Jan

LV= General Insurance (LV= GI) has rekindled its association with elite cricket in England and Wales by agreeing a three-year deal to become the new official title sponsor of England’s men’s and women’s Tests and the men’s domestic County Championship. 

The contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will run until the end of 2023. For this summer, the first LV= Insurance Test Series will see England’s men’s team take on India in August and September. 

The 2021 LV= Insurance County Championship will get underway on April 8 in a remodelled three-group format as agreed by the 18 first-class counties to help mitigate against the possible impact of Covid-19. 

The new contract expands LV= GI’s commitment to cricket in England and Wales following the November launch of the £1m #Funds4Runs initiative – jointly funded with the ECB – which is helping recreational cricket communities most impacted by the pandemic recover financially. 

LV=’s involvement with the ECB dates back to 2002 and includes three separate stints as title sponsor of the County Championship – 2002-05 (Frizzell County Championship), 2006 (Liverpool Victoria County Championship) and 2007-15 (LV= County Championship). Parent company Allianz Group, through its Cornhill brand, also sponsored Test cricket for 23 years between 1978 and 2001. 

Heather Smith, managing director at LV= GI, said: “We understand the importance of supporting local communities and the launch of #Funds4Runs, to help grassroots cricket clubs to get back on their feet during this awful time, was a proud moment and this longer-term partnership will give us the opportunity to support cricket at all levels. 

“Domestic Test and County cricket has seen some truly historic moments in recent history, so to be a part of this over the next three years is very exciting. Away from the professional game, we also want to help strengthen cricket communities across the UK, and our values around supporting communities closely align with those of the ECB.” 

Optician brand Specsavers opted not to renew its contract in April. In 2018, they  signed a two-year deal thought to be worth around £2m per year to become the main sponsor of Test cricket in England. 

This built on its sponsorship of the County Championship, which ran from 2016 to 2019 and itself was worth £200,000 per year. Its agreement also included sponsorship of domestic umpires. 

Commenting on the new deal, ECB chief executive, Tom Harrison, said: “The strength of our partnerships are vital and in LV= I know we have a partner that shares our ambition to support the growth of cricket from grassroots to our England teams. 

“We are excited about the prospect of a summer of cricket that will feature the return of the LV= Insurance County Championship as well as a highly-anticipated LV= Insurance Test Series against India. We know how much our fans are looking forward to a summer of cricket and we continue to work closely with Government and plan for how we can safely welcome supporters back to our venues.” 

John Stephenson 


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